PORTUGAL – Ten people are to be tried following an investigation into the Pedrógão Grande forest fires in 2017 which killed 66 people, a judicial source told Lusa on Friday.
Of the 13 suspects in the case, the mayors of Castanheira de Pera, Figueiró dos Vinhos and Pedrógão Grande are to go on trial regarding their duties at the date of the facts.
Following the first hearing, the court also decided to bring to trial the forestry engineer in the municipality of Pedrógão Grande at the time, the commander of the volunteer firefighters of Pedrógão Grande, the deputy director of the commercial area of electricity utility EDP, the sub-director of the maintenance area of EDP,and three defendants with positions from the local m otorway concession.
In question is the falling of a pine tree on the road where most people died, “stopping, diverting to the opposite direction, or at least hindering the passage.”
The fire of Pedrógão Grande also resulted in another investigation into alleged irregularities in supporting the reconstruction of homes that burned in the fire in 2017, and which has 43 defendants, the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) said on 7 June.
The fire occurred two years ago in Pedrógão Grande and then spread to neighbouring counties killed 66 people and injured 253, seven of which seriously, and destroyed about 500 homes and 50 companies.