The President of the Republic said that he has already offered his condolences to the family of the Portuguese pilot who died today following the fall of a 'Canadair' in the Lindoso area, Ponte da Barca, when he was fighting the fire in Gerês.
“I have already had the opportunity to express my condolences, my feelings, to Henrique, son of the pilot Jorge Jardim, who died in dramatic circumstances, at the service of the community, in the fight against fire, which all indicates that he is on the way to being extinguished” , said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The head of state spoke to journalists at Porto Santo Airport, in the archipelago of Madeira, where he was waiting to embark for Lisbon, after a short vacation.
"Unfortunately, it is more of a loss of life at this time and in this period, when we have already lost four firefighters," he observed.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa revealed that he also spoke as the son of the Spanish driver, seriously injured in the same accident.
"It is recorded here, with great regret for me, what is another sad event in this time of fires", he declared.
The plane crashed, at 11:20 am, in an area of Spanish territory, "about one, two kilometers from the border with Portugal," an official Civil Protection source told Lusa.
The 65-year-old Portuguese pilot died on the spot, despite attempts by members of the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM), while the second pilot, a Spanish national and 39 years old, was assisted on the spot and transported "in serious condition" for the Viana do Castelo Hospital, said the same source.
In Porto Santo, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that he spoke with the Mayor of Ponte da Barca, from whom he received the information that the fire registered a “positive evolution” in Portuguese territory, which does not happen on the Spanish side.