Thursday 23 March 2017

German arrested over fatal Spanish island forest fire

A forest fire on the Canary Island of La Palma has claimed the life of a park ranger
A forest fire on the Canary Island of La Palma has claimed the life of a park ranger

A German man suspected of starting a forest fire on the Canary Island of La Palma that has claimed the life of a park ranger and forced the evacuation of 700 people has been arrested.

The 27-year-old was detained on Wednesday, shortly after the fire started near El Paso town in the west of the island, the Civil Guard said.

Police said it appeared he may have accidentally started the blaze, which continued to rage on Thursday.

Acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy expressed his condolences for the forest worker on his official Twitter account.

The islands' regional government said some 200 firefighters and army emergency service soldiers were working to extinguish the fire.

It said 700 residents had been evacuated as a precautionary measure.

AP

Press Association

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