Three dead as fire rages in Cataluña

Three people ave so far died, one of them a minor, as a result of a forest fire raging out of control in Girona, Cataluña.

The fire has already destroyed 7,000 hectares of land near the Costa Brava. In Portbou, several people travelling on the N-260 found themselves surrounded by flames and tried to escape by heading for the cliffs.

Several people launched themselves from the cliff into the sea in desperation and two of them, a 60 year old French national and a 15 year old, died as a result of drowning. Two others were seriously injured.

Meanwhile, an elderly woman died in Llers, suffering a heart attack as a result of the fire which appears to have originated in La Jonquera.

Another French national is in hospital in a serious condition with 80% burns and three others have been treated for minor injuries.

Several roads in the area have been closed and a section of the AVE high-speed rail link between Figueres and France has also been cut.

Strong, gusting winds of up to 90 kph are hampering the firefighting effort.

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