In Brief


Efforts to find two crew members lost in Aegean continue into the night A search-and-rescue operation was continuing yesterday as fears grew for the safety of two crew members of the Cambodian-flagged vessel A Akif which sank on Tuesday off the northern Sporades. Fourteen of the 16 crew members were carried to safety by a frigate but the two missing crewmen, both Turkish nationals, fell into the freezing waters. Authorities described snowy conditions as being very difficult, with gale-force winds reaching speeds of 10 Beaufort. RAILWAY FIRE Nobody injured as blaze breaks out on Thessaloniki-to-Athens train Firefighters put out yesterday a blaze that broke out on an intercity train traveling from Thessaloniki to Athens with 160 passengers on board. No one was hurt in the fire, which was contained to the train’s engine. Two trucks and six firefighters were required in the operation that took place at Plati, Imathia, in northern Greece. The passengers continued on their journey aboard another train following a 30-minute delay, authorities said. HOMELESS HELP Mayor calls on public for assistance Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis urged Athenians yesterday to dial 195 if they come across any homeless people so that municipal staff can assist them. Bakoyannis said that the City of Athens had opened all its reception centers to homeless people and was offering two meals a day to more than 1,000 people. The mayor added that sleeping bags and tents were also being handed out to homeless people who did not want to come in from the cold. Hospital damage Authorities yesterday estimated the damage from a ground-floor fire that broke out in a hospital in Kalamata, in the Peloponnese, on Tuesday at 100,000 euros. No patients or staff were hurt by the fire, which damaged medical equipment. Investigations are continuing into the cause of the blaze. Holocaust remembrance French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy will be sending a personal message to be read out at an event in Thessaloniki on Sunday to remember the victims of the Holocaust during World War II, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. ANA said that Sarkozy’s great-grandfather was a Jew from Thessaloniki. There will be a memorial service for the Holocaust victims at 11 a.m. on Sunday in Thessaloniki’s Eleftherias Square. PC burnout A short circuit in a computer caused a fire at a police station in Kamatero, northwest Athens, yesterday but was quickly contained by the officer on duty before causing any serious damage, authorities said. Arson attacks A homemade explosive device, made of gas canisters, went off outside a branch of the Bank of Cyprus in Kypseli near the center of Athens at 5.55 a.m. yesterday, police said. The blast caused damage to the bank’s windows but no injuries were reported. Arsonists also set fire to two motorcycles in Nea Smyrni a few hours earlier, officers said. The motorcycles were destroyed but nobody was injured. Foreign languages Candidates wishing to sit exams to obtain the state’s diploma for foreign languages have to submit their application forms and a fee of between 50 and 60 euros between January 30 and February 17 to the Directorate of Secondary Eduction. The exams for English and Italian will be held on May 6 and 7, and for German and Italian on May 13 and 14. Drug busts Police in Thessaloniki said they arrested four suspected drug dealers in the city yesterday. A 40-year-old Greek man and a 35-year-old foreign woman, whose nationality was not made public, were arrested after 254 grams of heroin were found in their apartment. Officers also caught a 30-year-old man, of unspecified foreign nationality, as he was about to sell drugs to an addict. A search of his home revealed 134 grams of cocaine and led to the arrest of another man whose identity was not revealed.

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