Burials of Greece’s wildfire victims begin


Funerals for victims of Greece's lethal wildfire have begun, with the burial of an elderly priest who drowned as he sought safety from the flames in the sea off the Mari coastal resort.

Hundreds attended Father Spyridon Papapostolous funeral Saturday in his parish of Halandri, a northern suburb of the Greek capital, AP reported.

Papapostolou, along with his wife and daughter had entered the water to protect themselves from the fast-moving flames, but he passed out and drowned.

The blaze claimed the lives of at least 86 people, including children.

Three members of the same family are due to be laid to rest on Sunday, according to Reuters.

"We will say our final goodbye to our much-loved Grigoris, Evita and Andreas … tragic victims in Mati," the Fytrou family said in a statement published by the Athens news agency, asking media not to attend.

Missing twin nine-year old girls Sofia and Vasiliki Filippopoulou, whose pictures have featured internationally including in The Times newspaper, were confirmed dead, state broadcaster ERT reported on Saturday.

DNA tests showed the pair, who had prompted a national outpouring of sympathy, and their grandparents had died in the blaze at Mati. [AP, Reuters]