A day after the tragedy on the small island of Maderia that killed 12 and injured over 50 people on Tuesday, U.S. Congressman Bill Keating reached out to the President of the Regional Government in charge of the Portuguese island.

The tragedy happened during the Nossa Senhora de Monte Festival in Madeira when a 200-year old oak tree fell onto a crowd of people. The massive oak tree injured 52 people and left 12 dead.

Keating wrote a letter to the President of the island's regional government Miguel Filipe Machado de Albuquerque to express his condolences for the horrible loss of life that took place during the religious festival.

The letter can be read in its entirety below.

August 16, 2017

Dear President Miguel Albuquerque,

I would like to extend my deepest condolences for the loss of life and injury of so many during the unfortunate accident at the Nossa Senhora de Monte Festival in Madeira. This festival is an occasion for thousands to travel from afar to celebrate their faith and enjoy time with old friends and family, and it was heartbreaking to see it cut short so tragically.

As you may know, the South Coast of Massachusetts in my district is home to a strong and vibrant Portuguese-American community that shares a unique bond with the nation of Portugal. Every year I have the privilege of joining many of my constituents in celebrating the strong ties of Madeiran heritage at the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford, MA. The 103rd Feast was held here just last week, so the news of this tragedy is especially saddening for us. Many in my community still have family and friends in Portugal and this loss touches us all.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families who mourn the loss of their loved ones and we stand together with the people of Madeira and Portugal during this difficult period.



Member of Congress



More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420