Portugal Mourns: The 'Road Of Hell' Kills 62 People

First Posted: Jun 22, 2017 05:46 AM EDT

A giant forest fire swept central Portugal last weekend and killed at least 62 people. It was in the national route N236, dubbed as the "road of hell" or "road of death," that people in their cars and firefighters were trapped by the raging fire.

On Monday, the firefighters numbering about 1,000 continued to put off the devastating fire, wherein some of them died, too. Portugal is now mourning after this deadliest disaster in its recent history, according to Pri.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa declared three days of mourning since Sunday. He stated that the fire has reached a level of human tragedy that they have never seen before.

Joaquim Serra da Fonseca, a commentator, said that most of the people who died at N236 had been spending the day at a well-known resort in Castanheira de Pera. They went home when they heard about the fire, yet they were caught by it on the said road, according to

Serra da Fonseca wondered why they took the road south to the main IC8 that led to that area, even though the police knew that the area was already on fire. "They should have told them to go the opposite way," he said.

Meanwhile, Police Chief Almeida Rodrigues blamed the dry thunderstorms that hit Pedrogao Grande on Saturday. He said that they discovered a tree hit by lightning. The fire spread fast because the eucalyptus trees planted in the area are very flammable.

People from Portugal are deeply saddened by the intense disaster. This brought them together. People whether rich or poor are donating and helping people who had lost their homes in the fire.

It is also reported that Portugal was hit by a severe heatwave last weekend with about 40 degrees Celsius in some areas. Currently, the fires are still raging. Last year, Portugal had a series of fires that destroyed over 100,000 hectares of the mainland.

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