One person was killed, and 10 others were trapped in a forest fire that erupted in Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Antalya, officials announced on Thursday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “all necessary support will be given to citizens who have suffered from the fire,” adding an investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire. Over 60 people have been reportedly affected by the fire.
Turkish media reported 62 people, mainly local people overcome with smoke and three suffering from burns, were hospitalized.
Hundreds of forest workers, aided by helicopters and a plane, tried to bring the fire under control. Local officials said four districts of the town had been evacuated and the fire was partially under control.
“It’s an unbelievably bad sight,” Manavgat mayor Sukru Sozen told CNN Turk. NTV television said 20 buildings housing around 500 people had burned down in one part of the town. “Thankfully, we have had no losses of life,” Bocek told NTV television. Flames appeared to have erupted at four locations at once, he added.
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said an 82-year-old man died in his burning home in the Kepezbeleni neighbourhood of the Akseki district, reports Xinhua news agency. According to news reports, 80 per cent of the houses in Kepezbeleni were engulfed in flames.
Meanwhile, the Minister added that ten people, who were believed to be restaurant owners and employees, have been trapped in the Oymapinar Dam area. “They do not have a life-threatening condition,” Pakdemirli added.
Winds of up to 50 km an hour were fanning the flames, the Minister said, adding that an investigation has been launched to find out the cause of the blaze. The massive forest fire began at four different points in the Manavgat district on Wednesday but later expanded to other areas by strong winds, forcing the evacuation of 18 neighbourhoods.