UK & World News

  • 19 January 2014, 17:27

Norway Fire: Laerdal Inferno Engulfs Village

At least 90 people have been taken to hospital as a huge fire rips through a Norwegian village famous for its unique wooden buildings.

Scores of people have been evacuated from their homes in Laerdalsoyri and dozens taken to hospital with "light injuries", the municipality of Laerdal said in a statement.

The blaze has destroyed at least 30 buildings, including 16 homes, industrial buildings and community centres.

It also destroyed at least three buildings in the protected area of the village of Laerdalsoyri.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which started on Saturday night and quickly spread, fanned by strong winds.

Local firefighters, helped by farmers, have been struggling to contain the inferno.

Villagers are hoping a firefighting helicopter due to arrive on Sunday will help to contain the flames.

The Laerdal district is a popular tourist destination, known for its stave church and well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses.

Parts of the western Norway village, which has a population of around 1,150, have made it on to the Unesco World Heritage list.

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