LISBON, Portugal – Portuguese media are reporting that at least eight people have died and dozens are injured after a heating-system explosion and fire at the premises of a local residents’ association in the north of the country.
Reports say that a heater exploded in the building in the town of Tondela, around 250 kilometers (150 miles) north of the Portuguese capital Lisbon on Saturday night
Witnesses speaking to local television channels said the fire triggered panic among the about 60 people in the building who were taking part in an amateur card tournament.
They said people crowded the exits as thick smoke filled the building.
Some media reported that a gas heater exploded, but other said the fire started in a wood-burning stove.
Authorities could not immediately be reached for comment.