Falling tree kills 11 on Portuguese island of Madeira

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm August 15, 2017 15:08

Falling tree kills 11 on Portuguese island of Madeira

A falling tree has killed at least 11 people and injured dozens more at a religious ceremony on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

A video shows the tree crashing down on a crowded square in a suburb of the main town, Funchal, forcing people who were enjoying the religious festivities in the sunshine to flee.

Two children are among the dead, Portuguese broadcaster RTP reports.

Reports suggest the tree which fell was an oak that was about 200 years old.

People had gathered outside a church in a village in the hills overlooking the town to celebrate the Roman Catholic Feast of the Assumption, which takes place on Tuesday. The Lady of the Mount festival is the island’s biggest.

Emergency services flooded the area after the disaster, tending to the injured.

Madeira, a popular destination for European tourists, is the largest of a group of Portuguese islands in the north Atlantic Ocean, south-west of the Portuguese mainland.

The tree came down just after midday (10:00 GMT) on Fountain Square, which has a Catholic shrine and other monuments, and is shaded by plane trees, according to the Funchal town website.

Witnesses quoted by RTP say the tree that fell had been shored up for at least two years because the trunk was hollow.

This year’s festival would have been all the more special because, Portuguese news site Publico notes, last year’s event had to be cancelled due to forest fires.

Source: BBC

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm August 15, 2017 15:08
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