Spain: 4 die in Catalonia wildfire, smoke reaches Barcelona

23 July, 12:53

(ANSAmed) - Madrid, July 23 - Three French nationals died on Sunday while attempting to escape from a wildfire in the Costa Brava area of northeast Spain near the border with France.The victims included a 60-year-old man and his 15-year-old daughter who died after jumping into the sea. Another French national died of burns in hospital.

On Monday morning the civil protection department said a thick cloud of smoke had reached Barcelona. The blaze broke out at around 19.30 local time in the mountains surrounding Portbou and quickly spread to 17 municipalities in Alt Epordà, south of Girona and in Marasme.

So far it has reportedly destroyed over 13 hectares of vegetation and is still out of control. On Sunday around 200 people trapped between the flames and the cliffs near the border fled on foot after abandoning their vehicles, civil protection sources said. During the flight a French family of five fell onto the cliffs at Portbou; father and daughter died in the accident while the mother sustained injuries to a shoulder and the two younger children remained unhurt. The third victim died in a road accident involving multiple vehicles as tourists tried to get away. A further 10 people were wounded in the crash, of whom 4 are in a serious condition.



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