NEWS

Death toll from deadly Attica fires rises to 85

TAGS: Fires

The death toll from the deadly blaze that ravaged the coastal town of Mati in east Attica on Monday rose to 85 on Thursday, after a 73-year-old man who was in intensive care in Athens' Evangelismos hospital died and two more bodies were discovered by rescue crews.

Earlier in the day, a fire service spokesperson told journalists the number had risen to 82.

Stavroula Malliri said rescuers are looking for missing people but have not yet entered closed houses in affected areas.

About 300 firemen and volunteers combed through the area looking for dozens reported missing, among them two 9-year old sisters.

“Understanding the agony of the relatives of those missing, we inform you that the search to find them will not stop until all buildings and areas affected by the blaze have been checked,” she told journalists.

Malliri called on the relatives of those missing to visit the forensics department of the University of Athens in Goudi until Friday (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) where they will be briefed about the procedure followed to identify the victims.

The Infrastructure Ministry announced earlier on Thursday that 1,218 buildings (48.93 pct) out of the 2,489 assessed by its engineers since Tuesday were deemed uninhabitable.

Commenting on the other large fire that burned swathes of forest on Gerania Ori, near the coastal town Kinetta in west Attica, the spokesperson said there is no active front in the area but significant fire fighting forces remain in place to prevent flare-ups.

There are currently 228 firemen with 114 vehicles, 56 teams on foot, 10 water tanks, two water-dropping airplanes and four helicopters operating in the area, while two more water-dropping aircraft are expected from Spain in the coming hours through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

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