Prime Minister regrets pilot's death and recommends "special caution"

The prime minister wishes the injured pilot the best and thanks the “thousands of men and women who are fighting fires”.

John Thys / EPA

The prime minister today lamented the death of pilot Jorge Jardim in the accident of a firefighting plane, recommending "special caution" to all who fight fires in the country.

In a statement released by his office, António Costa expresses “deep sadness and dismay” at the death of Jorge Jardim, whose plane crashed at 11:20 am when he was refueling the water tanks near the Alto do Lindoso dam, in an accident that also made a seriously injured, the second pilot.

The prime minister wishes the injured pilot the best and thanks the “thousands of men and women who are fighting fires”.

"This is a fight for everyone, but I call for special caution: the first mission of those who protect others is to protect themselves", he stresses.

António Costa also calls on citizens to behave in order to avoid fires in “days of enormous meteorological severity, with a very high risk of fire”.

"We have to reduce the number of ignitions more and more so that the device acts more and more effectively", says the prime minister.

Jorge Jardim, 65, died on the spot, despite attempts made by elements of the National Institute for Medical Emergency (INEM), while the second pilot, of Spanish nationality and 39 years old, was assisted on the spot and transported in “serious condition ”To Viana do Castelo Hospital, an official Civil Protection source told Lusa.

The plane crashed, at 11:20 am, in an area of ​​Spanish territory, "about one, two kilometers from the border with Portugal," added the same source.

In a press release, the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC) stated that it is a heavy amphibious aircraft (Canadair CL215), of the Special Device for Fighting Rural Fires, from the Castelo Branco Air Means Center, which participated in fire fighting operations in the Peneda Gerês National Park, parish and municipality of Lindoso, district of Viana do Castelo.

The plane crashed in an accident near the Alto do Lindoso Dam, following a scooping operation (replenishing the water tank), he added.

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