(no audio)Day of horror as inferno rages
February 8, 2009
VICTORIANS today awoke to the greatest bushfire catastrophe since Ash Wednesday. A statewide inferno that may have claimed up to 40 lives is still burning out of control.
Police, who last night were finally able to reach the blackened ruins of towns and communities, confirmed that 14 people had died. Six people who perished in a single vehicle in Kinglake, in the upper Yarra Valley, may have been from one family.
But police conceded they had little idea of how many others could be interred inside their ruined homes. Today they will continue the search for at least 25 people who were unaccounted for last night.
As more than 3000 firefighters and thousands of residents in dozens of communities last night battled to save homes, it emerged that hundreds of properties had already been lost.
Wandong, near Kilmore,