FREAK ACCIDENT

Falling Tree Kills 13 at Portuguese Religious Festival

Thirteen people were killed and 49 injured Tuesday when a tree fell on a crowd of people taking part in a religious ceremony on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Crowds had gathered in a public square outside a church in Funchal to celebrate the island’s biggest festival, the Lady of the Mount, when a large tree came crashing down. “I heard a great noise and when I looked at the tree it was already falling but was too fast and people started to run and those who couldn’t run stayed under the tree,” one witness was cited as saying by the BBC. Two children were reported among the dead, and health officials said German, Hungarian, and French citizens were injured in the incident. The island has declared three days of mourning for those killed, and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has arrived at the scene to express his condolences.