Falling tree kills 13 at Portugal religious festival

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LISBON: Thirteen people were crushed to death and 49 injured Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) when a 200-year-old oak tree fell on them at a religious festival on the Portuguese island of Madeira, doctors said. A dozen people, four of them children, were seriously injured, Miguel Reis, chief surgeon at the hospital in Madeira’s capital Funchal, told a press conference. Four of the injured are foreigners, with French, German, Dutch and Hungarian citizenship, he said. Tragedy struck at noon when the massive tree toppled into a crowd gathered near Funchal for the Lady of the Mount festival in honor of Madeira’s patron saint, Mary. Amateur video posted online showed the tree smashing down, prompting panicked worshippers to flee. Catholics around the world mark Assumption Day on August 15, which according to Christian tradition marks the Virgin Mary’s ascent into Heaven.

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AFP

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