Greece Inferno Leaves 74 Dead In Countryside Near Athens With Charred Bodies Found Locked In Final Embrace
ATHENS (Lahore Mirror Monitoring)- At least 74 people have been killed – many of them in a single village – and more than 170 injured in huge wildfires in Greece amid a sweltering heatwave.
Rescuers described a tragic scene in Mati as 26 charred bodies were found tightly huddled in a field including families with children found locked in a final embrace as they tried to flee the flames.
A survivor said the village “doesn’t even exist anymore” after she managed to flee, passing victims’ corpses on the floor during her “lucky” escape.
One of the youngest victims was thought to be a six-month-old baby who died of smoke inhalation as the forest fires were fuelled by dry conditions and strong winds.
Poland said two of its citizens, a mother and her son, were among the victims.
It was not clear how many people remained unaccounted for as boats combed beaches for any remaining survivors, with military hospitals on full alert, a Greek government spokesman said.
Ten tourists drowned when a boat capsized while trying to rescue them from flames, the Daily Mail reports.
Greece has declared three days of national mourning to pay tribute to the victims.
It has issued a desperate appeal for help from the EU and other allies, saying it needed air and land assets as the Attica region was engulfed in some of the worst fires in more than a decade.
Evangelos Bournous, mayor of the Rafina-Pikermi area, which is home to about 20,000 people, told Skai TV: “The number of dead is rising. It has already exceeded 60.”
He predicted the death toll would rise above 80.
Officials said at least 172 were injured – 156 adults and 16 children – as fires raged uncontrolled, destroying homes, forcing motorways and rail lines to close, and trapping many victims, including families with kids, as they tried to flee.