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Horrific video has emerged showing a huge oak tree falling and killing at least 11 people at a religious festival on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Two children are believed to be among the dead after the 200-year-old tree crushed revellers who were gathered outside a church on the hills of Monte, overlooking the capital Funchal.

Thirty-five people were injured in the tragedy – including a baby in a pram next to their mum.

Footage showed worshippers screaming in terror and running for their lives.

The tragedy happened during a two-day Christian festival called the Festa da Senhora do Monte which brings in thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Footage has emerged showing the moment the tree fell (Image: Facebook)
The tree fell as people were gathered outside a church (Image: Facebook)
The tree went down in an area where candles were being sold (Image:

Authorities had reportedly been warned three years ago that the tree was fragile and posed a danger, and it had apparently been tied up in a bid to stop it from falling.

Witnesses described scenes of panic as bystanders tried to rescue the victims and provide first aid before emergency services arrived.

One witness told Portuguese TV station SIC: “It felt like gunshots at first. We just saw people trying to run away, jumping on top of others, and then the tree fell and I saw six people already lying motionless on the ground.

“It was something that will mark me for the rest of my life. I only had time to run with all the panic.

“Some people were hit by others. It was terrible.”

The tree came down at about 12pm local time on Tuesday in a crowded area where candles were being sold.

The local, who was not named, added: “The procession was leaving the church and a lot of people were at the spot where the tree fell buying candles to follow the procession.

“I would say hundreds of people were there.”

Several people were taken to the island’s Nelio Mendonca Hospital with “fractures and head injuries”.

Four were said to be in serious condition.

One local reporter said he had counted six bodies at the scene of the tragedy.

The oak tree was 200 years old, and authorities had been notified in 2014 that it could pose a danger to people and property, Madeira Island News reported.

An investigation has been launched (Image: Rex Features)

Witnesses told RTP that the hollow tree was “ancient” and had been tied up for at least two years in a bid to secure it.

They expressed anger and questioned why the regional government hadn’t removed it following warnings.

They were waiting for a traditional procession which forms part of the festival.

The procession was cancelled following the incident.

Officials have launched an investigation.

Festa da Senhora do Monte is the biggest and most popular Christian festival on the Atlantic island, drawing dignitaries and other important figures.

Held every August 14-15, the festival is held in honour of Nossa Senhora do Monte, the patron saint of Madeira.

Every year, Monte is decorated with traditional festoons and colourful flowers, vendors sell traditional food and drink, and there is entertainment in the streets during a party that lasts late into the night of August 14.

The procession is held the following morning on August 15.

Last year’s celebration was cancelled due to deadly forest fires.

Madeira draws thousands of British holidaymakers every year and is famous for being the home of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Nana Kwame Buabeng - || Editor Xbitgh.Com || - || 2016 Best Blogger Nominee at Ghana Blogging and Social Media Awards|| - || A student of life || - || Social Media Enthusiast||

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BREAKING NEWS: BoG takes over Unibank



The Bank of Ghana has announced it has taken over the management of private bank, Unibank.

The Governor of the central bank explained at a press conference, the takeover is due to challenges facing the bank. He mentioned weak supervisory standards and weak operations as the cause of the challenges.

Ernest Addison said the bank, adjudged the 6thbest performing company in Ghana at the Ghana Club 100 awards in 2017, provided inaccurate data during the central bank’s effort to resolve the problems last year.

He assured depositors their money is safe, stressing “we are not liquidating the bank, we are saving it.”

The take-over comes weeks after Unibank announced it was taking over adb.
The top management of Unibank are Dr. Kwabena Duffuor II who is Chief Executive Officer, Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis Chief Operating Officer, Executive Director Owusu-Ansah Awere, Executive Clifford Duke Mettle, Director of Risk Management Kwesi Nkrumah Pimpah.

Photo: CEO Kwabena Duffour II was awarded the most enterprising young executive award in 2017.
The bank’s company secretary is Sylvia Assimeng-Archer, Executive Head of Treasury and Global Trade John Collins Arthur, Executive Head of Corporate Banking Elsie Dansoa Kyereh and Executive Head of Innovations and Business Execution Florence Ohene.

This executive management are expected to give way to new control, KPMG appointed by the central bank.

The bank was founded in 1997 by Kwabena Duffour who later became Finance minister under the Mills administration.
But after 20 years of private management, Kwabena Duffour who is a former Governor of the Bank of Ghana loses control of unibank to his former employers.

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