NEWS

In Brief

FOREST FIRE

Winds fanned Salamina blaze A total of 75 firefighters using 25 fire engines on Saturday extinguished the first major forest fire of the summer in forestland in Ano Vassilika on Salamina an hour after it had started. Aided by two water-dropping aircraft, firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze, which was fanned on by strong winds, at around noon before it could spread to nearby homes. The fire destroyed two hectares of land. Football protest Hundreds of drivers were trapped on the Ioannina-Athens and Ioannina-Igoumenitsa roads yesterday as residents of the northwestern town blocked the two highways for the third day in a row in protest at Friday’s relegation of the local football team, PAS Yannena, to the second division for not paying its debts to players. On the road to Athens, traffic was gridlocked for kilometers as furious fans blocked the junction at Avgo with garbage trucks and cars. Hang-glider death A 23-year-old man was fatally injured yesterday after apparently losing control of the hang glider he was flying, which spun around several times before crashing into a ravine in the mountains of Menikio, western Serres. Giorgos Raskopoulos from Thessaloniki had visited Serres to attend a hang-gliding contest but was not competing. Gas attack Firefighters yesterday evacuated a hotel in central Athens after fumes from tear gas and smoke capsules planted in the toilets of the mezzanine floor – where a meeting of associations of expatriate Cypriots was due to begin – began to spread. One man fainted but there were no other incidents, according to police who said the perpetrators must have been professionals as the capsules had been planted in the sinks where the the water would slow down diffusion of the gas. Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis had been due to address the event at the Titania Hotel.