Huge EXPLOSION – At least 8 dead and 50 injured in Portuguese holiday hotspot
Eight people are dead and a further 50 have been injured after a reported boiler explosion and fire at a building in Tondela, Portugal.
Mayor Jose Antonio de Jesus said: “Several dozen people have been injured, some lightly and others gravely, and are still being assisted.”
A wood-burning stove is believed to have exploded in the two-story building around 250 kilometres north of Lisbon.
Civil Protection Agency commander Paulo Santos told local radio station TSF that at least 50 people were injured.
This follows on from Portugal’s deadliest-ever forest fires last year, which killed a total of over 100 people – the worst loss of human lives in living memory in the country.
Witnesses who spoke to local television channels said the fire caused panic among the roughly 60 people who were in the building.
It is believed an amateur card tournament was taking place when the boiler exploded.
They said people crowded the exits as thick smoke filled the building.
Dozens of fire crews and two rescue helicopters were at the scene taking the injured to hospital.
The National Civil Protection Authority sent 148 firefighters and 67 vehicles to the scene and the blaze was extinguished within an hour.
Some of the injured, suffering from serious burns, were taken to nearby hospitals by rescue helicopters.
More to follow…