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Fifty injured as Norway heritage village burns

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Police have launched a large-scale evacuation in Laerdal after several houses burning in the dense timber buildings in Lærdalsøyri. Photo: Arne med / NTB Scanpix
10:22 CET+01:00
Over 20 houses have been destroyed and 50 people injured after a fire broke out in the heritage village of Lærdalsøyri on the Sognefjord, north of Bergen.
"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," Lærdal's deputy mayor and chief physician Geir Berge Overland told NRK. 
 
According to a press release from Lærdal Municipality, at least 23 buildings had been destroyed by 7am on Sunday morning, three of which are in the historical conservation area, treasured for its unique wooden buildings. 
 
About 300 people were taken to Lærdal Hospital overnight, of which 52 have been hospitalized or moved to a larger hospital.
 
Overland told NRK That the strong east wind made fighting the fire extremely difficult. 
 
"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."

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According to Lærdal municipality more than 100 fire and police and ambulance workers have active throughout the night. 

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