An amphibious aircraft that was fighting the fires in Portugal crashed in the region of Foz Côa. The 38-year-old pilot, André Serra, was killed in the crash. The Civil Protection has said that the artifact was a medium amphibious FireBoss dedicated to fighting rural fires.
The alert was sent out at 8:02 pm, and an INEM helicopter, the Maritime Police, and firefighters were sent to the area. The pilot’s body was found on Saturday morning in Vila Nova de Foz Côa.
The national commander for Emergency and Civil Protection, Andre Fernandes has said that the team “is feeling a sense of loss” and that the accident is being investigated to find out what happened.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa reacted to the death of the pilot via Twitter. Along with sending his condolences, the PM thanked all of those fighting the fires all over Portugal.
Foi com grande consternação que tomei conhecimento do falecimento do piloto que operava uma aeronave que caiu esta tarde no combate ao incêndio em Torre de Moncorvo.
Endereço as mais sentidas condolências à família e amigos.
— António Costa (@antoniocostapm) July 15, 2022
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told CNN Portugal that he would be present for the pilot’s funeral. He also expressed his condolences and solidarity towards the family members of the pilot, saying that “he accompanies the pain of those that admired and respected him.”
Marcelo added that this is a “painful moment,” predominantly because it looked like in “the global panorama of the peak of this week” that there was “an evolution of moderation and stabilization.”
When asked whether the president had any information about the cause of the accident, he said he wasn’t allowed to speak on the issue.