British festival-goers among thousands fleeing fire on Croatian island
One could be heard shouting ‘Oh my god, it’s chaos’ as revellers fled the blaze.
British tourists have spoken of frightening scenes after a fire broke out on the outskirts of a music festival in Croatia, prompting thousands to be evacuated.
Images posted to social media showed people fleeing the huge blaze near the edge of the Fresh Island festival in Pag, an island on the west of the country.
Eighteen-year-old student Seb Hertz arrived at the festival with friends and told PA he “straight away knew that it was serious”.
In a video posted to Twitter he could be heard exclaiming “Oh my God, it’s chaos” as people ran away.
Croatian police said the fire took hold close to the venue early on Tuesday, but that the fire was under control and no-one had been injured.
The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.
Fresh Island describes itself as “the hottest urban, hip hop & RNB experience on the beautiful island of Pag”, running from July 15-17.
Acts in the line-up included US hip hop artist Tyga and British rapper Stefflon Don.
A promotional video on the festival’s website shows revellers dancing by the sea alongside the message “Welcome to Paradise”.
Following the fire, the festival said the beach had been closed “for safety precautions”.
The safety of fans is incredibly important to us and we worked with the emergency services to contain the fire over the following hours, transporting festival goers off site when possible and safe.— Fresh Island fest (@freshislandfest) July 16, 2019
In a series of tweets sent later in the morning, the festival said: “There was a forest fire near to Zrce Beach last night. After being advised by the police and emergency services to evacuate due to heavy winds, we guided festival goers to the parking area near Noa Club which was a safe distance from the fire.
“The emergency services are still working to contain the remaining fire so we can’t say just yet how this will affect today’s beach performances. Rest assured we’re doing everything we can to go ahead as planned to continue the parties.
We will share a further update with you ASAP.💙🏝— Fresh Island fest (@freshislandfest) July 16, 2019
“We would like to say a big thank you to all Fresh Islanders who were at the festival for being so patient and supportive of each other and for co-operating with security and emergency services during the fire to stay safe.”
The festival promised to share a further update with festival-goers “ASAP”.