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Pag Island fire in Croatia forces Zrce beach party-goers' evacuation today

16 July 2019

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.

In a statement on Twitter on Tuesday morning, festival organisers said: "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".

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. According to the UK-based media outlet, the annual party, started in 2012, has become the biggest hip-hop beach festival in Europe, drawing the genre's biggest acts.

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The cause was not immediately known.

They moved festival-goers to a auto parking area that was considered a safe enough distance from the flames. We can confirm all festival-goers are now offsite.

Tourism is a pillar of Croatia's economy, with visitors flocking to hundreds of islands and islets along its stunning Adriatic coast.

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No one was injured in the fire which was brought under control, the mayor of the nearby town of Novalja, Ante Dabo, told national radio.

The festival promised to share a further update with festival-goers "ASAP".

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Pag Island fire in Croatia forces Zrce beach party-goers' evacuation today