52 injured in fire in historic Norwegian village

Jan. 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

LAERDALSOYRI, Norway, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A fire broke out in the historic Norwegian village of Laerdalsoyri, leaving more than 50 people injured and 23 structures destroyed, officials said.

More than 100 firefighters, police officers and emergency responders worked to put out the flames over night and transport the injured to hospitals, TheLocal.no reported.

By 7 a.m. Sunday, least 23 buildings, including 20 homes, were destroyed. About 300 people were taken to the hospital, 52 of whom were hospitalized or transferred to larger hospitals for treatment

"It is a disaster. For those who are there it is an inferno. There are flames and smoke everywhere and a powerful wind that makes the situation very difficult," Laerdalsoyri's deputy mayor and chief physician Geir Berge Overland told NRK.

Strong winds made it difficult for firefighters to quell the flames, Overland said.

"It would have been completely impossible to extinguish the fire. I have talked to fire the guys who have been present from the start, and even if it they had all available personnel, it would not possible to quench the fire."

When the fire started and the cause were not reported.

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