Canadair waterdropping plane crash reported in Portugal


LISBON, Portugal — An official with Portugal”s Air Accident Office says a Canadair water-dropping plane has crashed in central Portugal while fighting wildfires that killed 64 people.

Maria Jose Andre told The Associated Press that the Civil Protection Agency, which is overseeing firefighting operations, informed her office Tuesday afternoon that the plane had crashed.

She says her office immediately sent a crash investigation team to the area but that she had no details about the plane, its crew or where the crash happened.

Officials with the Portuguese government and the Civil Protection Agency said they could not confirm the crash.

Portugal”s secretary of state for the interior, Jorge Gomes, said: “We are investigating if (the reports) are true.”

Civil Protection Agency spokesman Fausto Coutinho says authorities had received reports of a plane crash near where wildfires are raging and dispatched a helicopter to check.

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