2 arrested in Chile for February wildfires that killed 137

2 arrested in Chile for February wildfires that killed 137

Alleged arsonists are blamed for Chile’s deadliest hearth that killed 137 within the Valparaiso area on Feb. 3. Picture by Adriana Thomasa/EPA-EFE

Could 25 (UPI) — A firefighter and a former forestry employee have been arrested Friday for allegedly setting a number of fires that converged and killed 137 in Valparaiso, Chile, on Feb. 3.

The 2 unnamed suspects allegedly set a number of fires that burned on the similar time, with wind and scorching temperatures fanning the flames and inflicting them to unfold quickly.

The hearth additionally affected greater than 16,000 and was Chile’s deadliest fire and second-deadliest pure catastrophe after an earthquake in February 2010 that measured an 8.8 magnitude, induced a tsunami and killing about 800 folks.

“There have been roughly 4 outbreaks equidistant from one another,” Prosecutor Osvaldo Ossandon mentioned.

One suspect previously labored within the Nationwide Forestry Company’s Conaf workplace that administers Chile’s forestry insurance policies, and the opposite is a firefighter.

One of many suspects allegedly is linked to 6 prior fires within the Penuelas Reserve.

Whereas looking one suspect’s residence, investigators discovered an arson machine used to begin one of many fires, the Valparaiso prosecutor’s workplace mentioned throughout a court hearing Saturday.

Chilean officers mentioned they’re persevering with to analyze the pair’s actions to see if they’re associated to different arson fires.

Valparaiso is positioned about 75 miles northwest of Chile’s capital, Santiago.

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