(Published at 4:55 p.m MDT June 20, 2017)
Reports from numerous media outlets that an air tanker crashed in Portugal on Tuesday appear to be false.
A spokesman for Portugal’s Civil Protection Agency says none of the aircraft fighting the wildfires in the country are missing, in spite of the fact that Portugal’s Air Accident Office said it had received a call from the Civil Protection Agency notifying it of a plane crash.
The origin of the erroneous information may have come from a reporter for Antena 1 radio who said he heard an explosion about 10 miles away from the Pedrogao Grande area which has been hit by devastating wildfires in recent days. He said a local woman told him she saw a plane crash in a fireball on Tuesday. There have also been reports of propane tanks exploding in the fires.
It is possible that the lady saw an aircraft and the unrelated explosion, which appeared to be associated with the plane.