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A woman arrested after burning 21 cars at dawn in the historic center of Tui


The emergency switchboard of the Pontevedra municipality was saturated with calls and several fire teams had to intervene, including that of the Portuguese border city of Valença do Miño

The historic center of the Pontevedra town of Tui (17,000 inhabitants), one of the most emblematic in the south of Galicia, has been the scene of an apparent act of vandalism in the early hours of this Monday, when, almost simultaneously, 21 vehicles have burned and another six have also been affected.

It has been a night of maximum alert for the emergency services in this border city with Portugal, which were overwhelmed with calls from neighbors and had to act in at least five fire points.

Early this afternoon, a woman in her 50s, a neighbor of the town, was arrested as a suspect, according to the Efe news agency.

The Government sub-delegate in Pontevedra, Maica Larriba, had previously described the events as a "vandalism", although she indicated that the Civil Guard investigation was still open.

Larriba met urgently with the mayor of Tui, Enrique Cabaleiro, and the council of municipal spokespersons to analyze what had happened, which kept the neighborhood in suspense for almost five hours.

According to municipal sources and 112 Galicia, the first source of fire was recorded minutes before 4:00 in the morning.

The person who called the emergency services indicated that there were three vehicles burning in the Plaza de la Armada.

Then the calls followed one another until the switchboard of the Integrated Emergency Care Center was saturated: the flames could be seen in five different points in the old part of the city.

An agent observes one of the burned vehicles in Tui (Pontevedra). Sxenick (EFE)

Investigators believe those responsible for the fire used accelerants or flammable liquids.

One of the burned vehicles was parked very close to a house, which is why the flames reached a window, a door and a gutter for collecting water from the building.

Neighbors in the affected area collaborated with the firefighters using hoses and buckets of water, some even from the windows of their homes.

The municipal means were overwhelmed to control the sources of simultaneous fire, so both Spanish and Portuguese firefighters had to mobilize.

Firefighters from towns in Baixo Miño and Ponteareas participated in the operation, including from the Portuguese city of Valença do Miño, in addition to the Supramunicipal Emergency Group of the Mos city council, as well as Civil Protection volunteers from Tui, Salceda and Tomiño.

The fire was put out early this morning.

The Civil Guard has launched an investigation in which they have already collected dozens of testimonies, a task in which the Tui Local Police collaborates.

The mayor, Enrique Cabaleiro, has described the events as "very serious" and has branded them as an "attack".

The councilor has indicated that it was "premeditated vandalism", since practically all the vehicles parked in the spaces enabled in the historic center have been burned.

Cabaleiro has explained that the fact that the fire has spread in the center, where the streets are very narrow, has made it difficult for the means of extinction to access, and has asked for citizen collaboration: "Anyone who has seen strange behavior during the early hours of this Monday to report it to the authorities to try to find out who could have caused all these fires and this disaster”, he claimed.

The head of the O Porriño fire department, Pablo Antonio Ordóñez, was part of one of the first emergency teams to arrive in Tui.

After receiving a call at 3:40 a.m. warning of the existence of three cars on fire, the device set out and verified that there were many vehicles on fire.

"We had to ask for more means because we were not enough and we had to gradually extinguish by priority," he told Europa Press.

One of the burned vehicles in Tui. Gustavo de la Paz (Europa Press)

Security cameras

The Government sub-delegate has insisted that the police investigation focuses on multiple indications and on security cameras.

Larriba has claimed that these events "have nothing to do with the reality of Tui, which is a city with security levels higher than the average for Galicia and the province."

Early this afternoon, a team from the criminal laboratory of the Civil Guard of A Coruña specialized in this type of case was scheduled to arrive in Tui.

The mayor has conveyed a message of tranquility to the residents and has assured that "the local government will be on the side of those affected".

The board of spokespersons will meet again late today to meet the demands of the owners of the affected cars and undertake as soon as possible the repair of the damaged buildings, as well as public furniture.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-20

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