Portugal fire survivors share harrowing tales
Survivors emerged Monday with stories of leaping into water tanks and other dramatic escapes from the forest fires scorching central Portugal, and authorities came under mounting criticism for not doing more to prevent Portugal’s deadliest natural disaster in decades.
More than 2,700 firefighters were still battling Monday to contain several major wildfires in the area northeast of Lisbon, where one blaze that began Saturday killed 63 people, many of them as they tried to flee the flames in their cars.
Water-dropping planes from Spain, France and Italy arrived as part of a European Union cooperation program but they were grounded in some places because thick smoke limited visibility, officials said.
Portugal is observing three days of national mourning after the deaths Saturday night around the town of Pedrogao Grande, 150 kilometres north of Lisbon.