Portugal Forest Fire Victims

Another Noose Found Near Museum in Nation's Capital

The official death toll right now stands at 62 total people, though that number may fluctuate as officials learn more about the full extent of the fire.

Portugal's national route 236 was transformed into a road of hell as the ferocious blaze ripped through the wooded countryside around the epicentre in Pedrogao Grande.

Eight firefighters are among the more than 50 people injured in the fire, which is raging in several parts of a mountainous area some 200km north-east of the capital Lisbon.

More than 350 soldiers yesterday joined the 700 firefighters who have been struggling to put out the blaze. "Eventually the fire passed and we emerged to see the smouldering remains of the village", he told BBC. "We were afraid the fire would reach us".

"Three died from smoke inhalation on roads and 16 inside cars". A young man shared a bottle of water with a distraught woman as she stumbled down the road.

A burned auto in the aftermath of the forest fire near Pedrogao Grande, in central Portugal.

The victims were found in cars, outside their vehicles and in rural areas, Secretary of State for Internal Administration Jorge Gomes said. Portugal's president says the country's pain "knows no end" as it mourns at least 61 people killed in the deadl.

He added that Portuguese authorities were working on identifying the victims.

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Susana Antunes fought back tears as she told Portuguese newspaper "Jornal de Noticias": "Everything went up to flames in 15 minutes".

France and the European Union have also offered aircraft.

The municipality's Mayor, Valdemar Alves, said there were areas "completely surrounded" by the wildfire and that there were no enough firefighters to extinguish the fire.

In a tweet on Sunday, Mr Costa sent his "deepest regret for the victims... and a word of encouragement and strength for all who help combat this scourge".

Smoke covers the IC8 motorway during the forest fire near Pedrogao Grande, in central Portugal.

"I don't want to talk yet about the cause of the fire because we are facing the greatest tragedy of human lives".

A local resident watches flames in Vale das Porcas, Alvaiazere, central Portugal, on June 18, 2017.

Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported earlier Sunday that the number of people killed in the forest fires were 57, with 59 others injured. The media in Portugal report that the fire is out of control, even though 600 firefighters are fighting to extinguish it.

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