Portugal – Pedrógão Grande extra

I had thought I had made my last post on the Pedrógão Grande fire that killed 64 people, but it appears not.

I wanted to avoid the aftermath of funerals, tales of burnt out houses, and recriminations about who could and should have done what when.

However, a development yesterday means I need to rejoin the fray.

The IPMA, the Portuguese equivalent of the Meteorological Office, has said it has analysed the data around the time that the fire allegedly stared.

I have no expertise in IPMA capability in Portugal in 2017, so I have to run with what has been reported.

It has been stated that in the period of 5 minutes before the start of the fire and 5 minutes after, there were 10 lightning strikes, but of these only 2 reached the ground.

There were 3 lightning strikes ‘close’ to the start point, but these were 3 hours or more after the blaze started, and the nearest was 7.3km (4.5mls) from the alleged source.

How is this record building up? It seems the fire was first reported to emergency services at 2.43pm, and this is being used as the time of origin. I haven’t a clue as to how the IPMA measures lightning strikes, gains a location for them, or works out whether they were ground strikes or not.

It seems the recriminations have started. It is claimed the emergency services were slow to respond, to both the fire and the resulting injuries. This happens to be the part I particularly wished to avoid, because I have no idea what a reasonable response is. And with 64 dead, this angle is likely to get very sour indeed.

The IPMA says the weather was high temperature, low humidity, extreme dryness, and that for 50 minutes around 7.50pm, the blaze was fanned by high winds.

The IPMA thinks the probability that the source was a lightning strike is very small, though it has not ruled this out entirely. This of course raises the question as to which alternative source might be likely for the 64 deaths.

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8 thoughts on “Portugal – Pedrógão Grande extra

  1. Sorry, it has nothing to do with the post about Pedrogão.
    I just wanted to thank your reactions to B’s posts. I remember when she arrived on the forum, keen to discredit all that was Portuguese. I called her “myth spreader” though her basic argument for visiting the forum was precisely to fight myths !
    Her concern is obviously not to meditate on what could have happened to MMC.
    The problem with B. is her fanatic faith in the “bible”, she never read the PJFiles, hence she never quotes them, using the “from memory but I’m happy to be corrected’ (as her abuse of the AIMHO, a shield that never protected from being accused of defamation in real life). When corrected by chance, she just ignores.
    B’s main quality is endurance, so don’t spoil your forces !
    BTW where does this information on a meeting in August 2006 come from ? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read B’s post accusing the tour operators to keep silent on sexual assaults. The fact is nobody is capable to cite a complaint made at the GNR or PSP or PJ against sexual assault on a minor in her own bed, in the Algarve. Nor is there any indication that a minor was taken to a hospital in order to be examined in a perspective of legal medicine, as any complaint against sexual assault, obviously, requires. There is no need to mention names, so why is there no registered fact on that topic ?

    • The source has been given as Kate’s book. Whilst I am wary of accepting what Kate says as accurate, there are just too many sources which could decry it if it were not.

      OG also appear to think there was a string of assaults. The details revealed are so sparse, I can think of no way to check them.

      If such assaults ever entered the PJ Files in the first place, I would expect them to be in a section not released to the public. So the PJ would have them, OG would have them, but the public would not.

      While I appreciate the desire for privacy of personal life, releasing a high level summary but nothing of substance has allowed rampant speculation in the media, typically along lurid lines. That just muddies the water.

  2. I don’t think that OG would have files that are not from UK origin but are Portuguese ones and aren’t in the DVD. No way. There would be an indication that some documents are shared only with the UK police agencies.

    Years back, actually when “Madeleine” was published, I asked and asked and asked about those assaults to some contacts close to GA. If it existed he would know. The question was put to a GNR officer who made an inquiry in all the Algarve, without any result. It doesn’t mean that such assaults never existed of course, but it looks as if they never were reported by the victims. If the police didn’t know about them, it is shameful to blame the police for not acting.
    Those assaults might have been reported in the UK, at the local police of the victims. But how long after ? How can you prove anything of that kind without a clinical examination by proper physicians in a couple of days period ?
    Apart from that, the way the perpetrator got in is crucial. What do you do if you invite for a last drink someone you met in a bar, offer a sofa because it’s pretty late and find the person in your daughter’s bed in the morning or wake up with your daughter screaming in the middle of the night ? Go to the local Portuguese police and be mocked ? Submit your daughter to an interview at the police when you feel guilty to be the cause of what happened ? These things are never simple.

    As you know the Portuguese police, people, culture, government etc. have been treated by the UK press in a way I wouldn’t have dreamt possible in a civilized European country. Nobody ever reacted. The principle, formulated by the head of the PJ, was that Portugal would certainly not play ping pong with the UK.
    I don’t think they were right, I even think they have a part of responsibility in the consequences (in particular regarding GA).
    Why didn’t they rectify when all the UK behaved as if the filing order was a certificate of innocence ?

    • “As you know the Portuguese police, people, culture, government etc. have been treated by the UK press in a way I wouldn’t have dreamt possible in a civilized European country. Nobody ever reacted.”

      Roughly speaking, this is the position I am in at the moment.

      I only became interested seriously in the case when OG dug up central Luz in June 2014.

      Since then, I have seen Luz, the Algarve and Portugal treated as a whipping dog, and I have had enough.

      I do not mind fact-based criticism of Portugal. This country is not some version of Disney, and the problems and faults are real.

      But the simple fact is I have lost patience with those who are simply slinging mud, those who are simply casting aspersions, those who are peddling untruths.

      We have a Staffordshire terrier. I am taking lessons from her.

  3. You might be interested in watching this as I seem to remember that you understand French. From 46’30. It’s a very good program and the reports are usually very well done, but here you’ll see the direct influence of the UK media. The parents were exonerated, hence (sic), as the PJ hadn’t found anything, the PM decided to close the investigation. But SY is investigating and has a couple of very serious leads.

    The program is focused on the little Gregory case (32 years old), as new elements have caused some arrests. The anchor asked the guests whether the French case had something to do with the British one.
    The lawyer just said 2 cute kids and the issue of the part the parents played in what happened.

  4. SIL, be careful and don’t waste too much energy on the UK Forum supporters (are they real supporters ? Why ?).
    E is a rather pathetic woman, she lives in Britain. Fleeing something ? She’s precarious, she’s not interested in France at all, doesn’t speak French and when she writes ONE French word, it’s always erroneous. When she was made a moderator, lots of people left the forum as a protest. Then they finally came back.
    E is a curious person. She was always attacking me, she never quotes, obviously never read nothing, not even “Madeleine”. On another UK Forum case , she told how she poisoned mice. Well, lots of people do that, you don’t feel proud of it, but it’s the mice or yourself in a way. E did something that nobody does : she watched the mice’s dying process : they bleed up to death, that’s what E told. Unfortunately she must be messy, and her darling dog ate the poison. So she had to take the dog to the vet and, this is the miserable detail, she complained it cost her 120 euros.
    Once E had been particularly agressive, I called her “bleeding mice watcher”. She nearly had a stroke. I felt I had to beg pardon (I suddenly thought that 120 euros might have been a lot of money for her). From then on posting was excluded. This is how I stopped posting, months before E obtained to be a moderator.

  5. I am not on the forum to mix it with the mods, or the regular posters, of which there are but few.

    The forum gets read by a large number of people.

    Some of those people have a degree of ‘influence’ in the case.

    I simply want the interested people to get a balanced view, fact-based, then they can decide for themselves.

    Anyway, I am off to have a second crack at your programme. Have a nice night.

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