Rescuers scour scorched towns after Greek wildfires kill 74
RESCUE workers in Greece scoured charred homes and burned-out cars on Wednesday as the toll from some of the worst wildfires this century was expected to rise from at least 74 dead and 187 hurt.
Scores of locals and holidaymakers fled to the sea to try to escape the flames as they tore through towns near Athens stoked by 100 kilometer-per-hour wind gusts, devouring woodland and hundreds of buildings.
Greek media have described the disaster as a “national tragedy,” while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cut short a visit to Bosnia and announced three days of national mourning.
The government has not yet said how many people are still missing from the fires, which broke out on Monday, as firefighters continue to battle blazes in some areas.
Terrified residents and tourists were overtaken by the flames in homes, on foot or in their cars. AFP photographers saw the burnt bodies of people and dogs.
The charred bodies of 26 people, including small children, were discovered at a villa at the seaside resort of Mati, 40 kilometers northeast of Athens, rescuers said.
They were huddled together in small groups, “perhaps families, friends or strangers, entwined in a last attempt to protect themselves as they tried to reach the sea,” said rescuer Vassilis Andriopoulos.
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