This afternoon a tragedy has been unfolding in Monte, overlooking Funchal, as a large 200 year-old tree has fallen onto the crowds assembled in Fonte Largo to celebrate the public holiday marking the feast of the Assumption. The Diario is reporting that as many as thirteen people have died including four foreigners. Other reports seem to be confirming this figure, initially reported as eleven.
The BBC has footage online here and there are reports of as many as 52 injured in addition to those who tragically died during a religious celebration.
In the Largo da Fonte there were also some street-traders who had set up their stalls at the site where one of the largest religious occasions in Madeira was going to take place, and who witnessed the moment of the tragedy. Domingos Perestrelo was recording a video via mobile phone, live for his account on the social network on Facebook, when the tree fell. “The first sensation was of small branches hitting each other, but then it accelerated and hit with a big bang on the floor,” he told Lusa.
There is another comprehensive report on the Guardian website. As of approaching 22.00 the exact number of fatalities and injuries have not been confirmed.