Many people died during a religious festival on the island of Madeira

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According to one local newspaper, the death toll has risen to 12. Two children are among the dead, Portuguese broadcaster RTP reports. Local media also reports 35 people have been injured. No official authorities have yet confirmed the number of casualties. The tree which fell was an oak that was about 200 years old. Local authorities had previously been warned about the condition of the tree.

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The scene of the accident in Madeira

On Fountain Square, where the tragedy occurred, a Catholic shrine and other monuments are shaded by plane trees. That tree have been in an area where candles were being sold and was packed with people. Emergency services flooded the area after the disaster. This year’s festival would have been all the more special because last year’s event had to be cancelled due to forest fires. The major Roman Catholic festival attracts thousands of visitors from all around the world. Nossa Senhora is the patron saint of Madeira. A Facebook Live video set up at the festival captured the moment the tree fell on the large group of people. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was expected to arrive on Madeira after accident.

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