‘Serious indications’ deadly Greece wildfire was arson

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There are “serious indications” a wildfire near Athens that has killed more than 80 people was arson, authorities say.

Public Order Minister Nikos Toskas said satellite image analysis and ground inspections suggest the fire that broke out on Monday was set deliberately.

The fires struck coastal villages popular with holidaymakers.

Most people fled to the safety of the sea with just the clothes on their backs.

An aerial view shows damage caused by a wildfire near the village of Mati, near Athens  ‘Serious indications’ deadly Greece wildfire was arson skynews greece wildfire aerial mati 4370777
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More than 80 people have died

Survivors spoke of harrowing scenes including entire families burned alive in their homes.

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“We were alone, there was nobody to help us. Everybody did what they thought they had to do to survive on their own,” resident Evi Kavoura said.

“I feel a pain in my heart, a very heavy load.”

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The search for more victims continued on Thursday as authorities confirmed death toll had risen to 82.

Firefighters and volunteers try to extinguish flames during a wildfire at the village of Kineta, near Athens  ‘Serious indications’ deadly Greece wildfire was arson skynews greece wildfire kineta 4370778
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Firefighters and volunteers have been extinguishing the fire

Germany has sent a team of forensics specialists to help officials identify victims.

The team includes people who worked on major disasters such as the 2002 midair plane crash over Ueberlingen in Germany that killed 71 people and the 2004 Boxing day tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed at least 225,000 across multiple Asian countries.

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Post-mortems and identification procedures are ongoing at a morgue in Schisto, west of Athens, which involve coroners, police forensic units, and forensic dentistry experts from Athens University.

Tables and chairs of a seaside cafe following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens  ‘Serious indications’ deadly Greece wildfire was arson skynews greece wildfire burnt seaside cafe 4370772
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People fled to the sea for safety

The chief coroner in Athens says the task of identifying victims is difficult because most of the bodies at the morgue were severely burned.

Authorities are working to put together a complete list of those missing.

It is the worst fire in Greece since 2007, when large sections of forest and farmland were destroyed mainly in the country’s south, and more than 60 people were killed.



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