Horrific fires kill 54 in Portugal

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The death toll from the forest fires raging in central Portugal rose to 62 on Sunday, with 54 others injured, and search for more bodies and investigation into the cause of the disaster were still under way.

Portuguese State Secretary of Internal Affairs Ministry Jorge Gomes told reporters about the death toll rise on Sunday, adding that two deaths were caused by a road accident, while four of the injured were in serious condition.

The fires broke out Saturday in Pedrogao Grande, some 150 km northeast of Lisbon, and quickly spread to the towns of Figueird dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera in the district of Leiria.

Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported earlier Sunday that the number of people killed in the forest fires were 57, with 59 others injured.

Among the victims, 18 died in their cars and 11 died in the forest when the fires swept over a road between the towns of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera, and three others died from smoke inhalation in Figueiro dos Vinhos, the news agency quoted Gomes as saying.

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