50 Die in Greece’s worst wildfires in decade

A house is threatened by a huge blaze during a wildfire in Kineta, near Athens, on July 23, 2018. More than 300 firefighters, five aircraft and two helicopters have been mobilised to tackle the “extremely difficult” situation due to strong gusts of wind, Athens fire chief Achille Tzouvaras said. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE GACHE

At least 50 people have died and 170 injured in wildfires ravaging woodland and villages in the Athens region, as Greek authorities rush to evacuate residents and tourists stranded on beaches along the coast, AFP reported.

The death toll soared with a Red Cross official reporting the discovery of 26 bodies in the courtyard of a villa at the seaside resort of Mati.

The bodies were entwined and severely burnt, an AFP photographer at the scene said. They appeared to have been caught by the flames trying to reach the sea.

Flames rise as a wildfire burns in the town of Rafina, near Athens, on July 23, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS

 

The authorities had previously announced 24 deaths and scores of injuries with the majority of casualties found in their homes or cars in Mati, 40 kilometres northeast of the capital.

Of the injured, 11 people were in serious condition.

Port authorities told AFP they had found four bodies in the sea, including three women and a child who had apparently tried to escape the flames.

There were fears the toll may rise further, as people remained unaccounted for.

A photo taken on July 24, 2018 shows cars burnt following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, on July 24, 2018.
Fifty people have died and 170 have been injured in wildfires ravaging woodland and villages in the Athens region, as Greek authorities rush to evacuate residents and tourists stranded on beaches along the coast on July 24, 2018. The death toll soared with a Red Cross official reporting the discovery of 26 bodies in the courtyard of a villa at the seaside resort of Mati.
/ AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS

 

Interior Minister Panos Skourletis said rescue workers were “still searching if there are more missing”.

“It’s a national tragedy,” civil protection agency official Ioanna Tsoupra told public broadcaster ERT.

By dawn Tuesday, fires were still burning around the capital, while others broke out elsewhere during the night.

Authorities were trying to evacuate inhabitants, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said.

“Fifteen fires had started simultaneously on three different fronts in Athens”, he said, prompting Greece to request drones from the United States, “to observe and detect any suspicious activity”.

This photo taken on July 24, 2018 show cars burnt following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, on July 24, 2018.
Fifty people have died and 170 have been injured in wildfires ravaging woodland and villages in the Athens region, as Greek authorities rush to evacuate residents and tourists stranded on beaches along the coast on July 24, 2018. The death toll soared with a Red Cross official reporting the discovery of 26 bodies in the courtyard of a villa at the seaside resort of Mati.
/ AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS

 

Login

Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password