Expert’s testimony over Mati fire resumes

Expert’s testimony over Mati fire resumes

An expert testifying on behalf of the families of the victims of the deadly fire in Mati, east Attica, in the summer of 2018 is expected to testify for a second day on Monday, after delivering a scathing assessment of the authorities’ response on Friday.

Retired Fire Service Lieutenant General Andrianos Gourbatsis told the Athens court last week that the loss of life at the seaside town could have been avoided if the authorities had responded more aggressively to the initial blaze on Penteli, before it went roaring down the mountainside. “I believe the risk was not adequately assessed and air and land forces were mobilized too late,” he said.

Gourbatsis also accused the authorities of failing to evacuate Mati before the fire, which claimed more than 100 lives, approached the town. “The Fire Service’s first task is to save lives and then to fight the blaze, or do both at once. In this case, the people were not saved,” he said.

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