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Pedrógão Grande deaths - negilgent homicide charges to be announced

FirePedGrandeCarThe death of 66 people in last June's devastating fire at Pedrógão Grande is to result in charges of negligent homicide against most, if not all of the defendants.

The fire was started in an area of tinder-dry vegetation underneath electrical cables, despite denials by EDP and REN, and spread rapidly in the heavily forested area.

There were numerous errors by those in charge of fire-fighting management allowing the flames to become uncontrollable, resulting in the death of 66 people.

The earlier lack of management of the forest allowed the fire to tear through the area, cutting off remote settlements and people trying to escape in vehicles, many of whom burnt to death.

These are some of the hard-hitting conclusions contained in the inquiry that, after nearly a year, points out those who are to blame for the succession of failures that caused the appalling loss of life.

According to a judicial source, the indictment is almost ready and should be completed within two weeks.

It is not known yet whether 64, 65 or 66 cases of negligent homicide will be levelled at the main defendants who were employed by the National Authority for Civil Protection. They each face a prison sentence if convicted.

The indictment from the Prosecutor's Office supports the thesis that these deaths were avoidable.

The Saturday edition of Expresso explains that there was fault attributable to the actions of several people responsible for various areas of operation. These errors allowed the fire to become uncontrollable.

‘Everything failed - the prevention, the combat and finally the protection of the population,’ reads the news article.

The Public Prosecution service’s charges are in line with the main findings of various reports into the fire such as the Independent Technical Commission, the Centre for Forest Fire Studies led by Professor Domingos Xavier Viegas and from the internal report from the National Authority for Civil Protection.


+1 #5 Damien 2018-09-10 17:57
You know something smells wrong when the PT Government specified that donations from the public must be channelled via the Misericordia (social services / old folks organisation) as they did not trust the Municipal not to pilfer donations. Sure enough the Pedrogao Grande Municipal then licences a number of 'never fire damaged in 2017' ruins to be rebuilt using hundreds of thousands of euro funding ... funds now denied to the needy who still have first homes needing rebuilding. To be sold on. Yet all Municipal politicians and officers ring fenced from prosecution as this is Portugal.
0 #4 Charly 2018-09-10 12:21
For every problem occured it must not be difficult to find "the guilty one who bought, who ordered, who recommended or lobbyed or operated matter or object" : simply add these guys to the list of perpetraters !
+1 #3 nogin the nog 2018-09-10 11:07
The government can hardly bring charges against it self, But it is responsible for this failure and many more..
+3 #2 Peter Booker 2018-09-10 07:57
The most notable failure was the SIRESP communication system, bought (on the cheap?) by government. Its complete failure effectively blinded those in charge on the ground. The local firefighters essentially had one hand tied behind their backs.

But I suspect that this maladministration will not feature heavily in the current accusations.
+6 #1 chez 2018-09-10 07:37
"Everything failed - the prevention, the combat and finally the protection of the population", and it will most certainly happen again! Where I live in central Portugal virtually nothing has been done to clear land and Eucalyptus plantations abound.