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Portugal: Eight dead and dozens injured in fire and stampede

A heater is said to have exploded, triggering a fire at a local residents' association building where people had gathered for an amateur card tournament

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Portugal: Eight dead and dozens injured in fire and stampede

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At least eight people have been killed and dozens injured in a fire and stampede in Portugal.

A heater is thought to have exploded at a packed residents' association building in the small town of Vila Nova da Rainha where an amateur card tournament was taking place on Saturday night.

The two-storey popular gathering place is near the town of Tondela, 260 km northeast of Lisbon.

Tondela Mayor José António Gomes Jesus said: "The fire was likely caused by a heater which quickly led to critical conditions and people trying to get out. Many of them sustained serious injuries. There are dozens of victims here, some more seriously hurt than others."

Portugal suffered from its deadliest ever forest fires last year, which killed more than 100 people - the worst loss of human life in living memory in the country.

with Reuters