Fire ripped through a local community centre in northern Portugal late Saturday, killing eight people and injuring another 50, police said.
"Around 70 people were having dinner in the building when the fire broke out and we have a number of dead people as well as between 50 and 60 people injured," civil protection chief Paulo Santos told AFP.
The fire broke out near Tondela, which lies between the northern towns of Coimbra and Viseu which were badly hit by a series of deadly wildfires in October, with some of the more seriously wounded airlifted to hospital by helicopter, he said.
Tondela mayor Jose Antonio Jesus told RTP public television that the fire broke out when a wood-burning stove exploded as people gathered for an amateur card tournament where they were playing Sueca, a very popular game in Portugal.
The fire spread very rapidly but was finally quenched after an hour, the Tondela fire service said.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
France's Macron under fire after aide caught hitting May Day protester
UK police identify Novichok suspects as Russians: report
Johnson attacks May’s ‘miserable’ Brexit plan
Former or not? Polish judge enters Supreme Court at heart of political dispute
Sweden struggles to contain ferocious wildfires
London's Heathrow returns to normal after fire alert
'It's not too late to save Brexit,' says Boris Johnson
Ryanair to cancel up to 600 flights in biggest strike
Migrant rescue boat aims for Spain with bodies, shunning Italy