10,000 evacuated after massive fire disrupts Croatian music festival
The American rapper Tyga was due to perform on the main stage before the fire.
BELGRADE and LONDON -- An estimated 10,000 people have been evacuated from a hip-hop festival on the Croatian island of Pag after a fire broke out in a nearby pine forest on Monday night.
Dramatic video posted on social media shows people running from the beach as flames were visible in the background
"The wildfire at Fresh Island Festival right now is mad," one attendee tweeted. "Whole thing been locked off."
Police ordered revelers to leave the popular beach music festival as more than 60 fire fighters, along with 45 police officer and 22 vehicles were dispatched to try to bring the blaze under control, with strong Bora winds from the Adriatic Sea fanning the fire.
“It’s only after dawn, when three fire fighting planes were dispatched the fire was put under control,” a local police spokeswoman told ABC News. ”No one was injured in the fire or in the process of evacuation.”
Attendees were escorted to a nearby parking area to wait for shuttle buses to transport them to the nearest town of Novalja, but there was a long wait for the evacuees and festival organizers informed people that the main road to Novalja was closed due to the fire.
Some buses were later escorted through by police.
The road reopened on Tuesday morning as the fire was contaminated.
“I don’t know the exact time, maybe little after midnight you could see the smoke," one of the waiters on Zrce beach, who wishes to remain anonymous, told ABC News. "The fire was spreading really fast, flames were billowing as high as 25 meters. "There were a lot of people (attendees of the Fresh Island Festival). They did not panic. The guests behaved as if nothing was happening."
“The concert ended up in fire, literally! Around 2 a.m. the guests were told to evacuate," he added.
The three-day festival was due to end on Wednesday, and festival organizers have not yet announced if the “Fresh Island Festival” will continue.
"Rest assured we're doing everything we can to go ahead as planned to continue the parties,” the organizers posted.
"They are saying I can't perform," tweeted the British rapper Not3s, who, along with the American performer Tyga, was due to take to the main stage at 11p,m last night. "I'm backstage been here since 12:30am.”