According to the investigation, the fire in Greece left 26 charred bodies, possibly migrants. This Tuesday, 18 people were found completely burned. Shortly thereafter, rescue teams identified another group of eight bodies. The findings were made in a rural area of the northern Greece city of Avantas, where a fire broke out on Saturday that has since spiraled out of control. Fanned by strong winds, it has spread rapidly and relentlessly, turning the sky red and choking the nearby city of Alexandroupoli, home to about 57,000 people, with plumes of smoke.
“When the fire department checked the area, 18 bodies were discovered near a hut,” said fire department spokesman Giannis Artopoios. “As there have been no reports of enforced disappearances or missing residents in the surrounding areas, the possibility that these are people who entered the country illegally is being investigated,” it said. The fire affects the Evros region, which is vast and a popular transit route for migrants crossing the river that gives the area its name from Turkey to Greece. Firefighters have noted that the search is ongoing in the area where the fire broke out. Another body, killed by fire, had been found by search parties a few hours earlier; They suspect that it also came from another migrant.
“[El fuego]”It has reached the whole city,” lamented Alexandros Chrisoulidis, a 19-year-old resident of Avantas, where the flames originated. “Our own house burned down completely up there. Nothing remains”. Several communities in the region have been evacuated since Saturday.
The local media spoke of a “huge wall of flames” advancing through the forests towards Alexandroupolis. The movement of the flames prompted authorities to evacuate eight towns, adding to the dozens previously given the order. Early Tuesday, the Alexandroupoli hospital transferred a hundred patients on a ferry from the city’s port, about 10 kilometers from Avantas, the original focus of the blaze. “I’ve been working for 27 years, I’ve never seen anything like this,” said nurse Nikos Gioktsidis. The ferry going to the nearby port of Kavala became a floating hospital, with patients on mattresses on the cafeteria floor: “Carrying everywhere, patients here, drops there… It was like a war, like there was a bomb. “exploded,” added the nurse. As explained by Deputy Health Minister Dimitris Vartzopoulos, so that smoke and ash that affect air quality do not harm the health of the sick. Another 14 people were taken in a coast guard boat from a beach near the town of Makri.
Authorities constantly warn that the risk of new fires remains high due to high temperatures, the arid environment and persistent winds. In fact, two fires were declared this Tuesday near Athens, where nine planes and 120 firefighters are working to put them out. One of the fires at the base of Mount Parnitha threatened homes. And another tongue of flame spread unchecked across Greek territory, in the industrial city of Aspropyrgos.
There are currently eight major fires in Greece in different parts of the country, the most serious of which occurred in Alexandroupoli.
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