NEWS

In Brief

FIREFIGHTER DIES

Volunteer collapses while trying to put out fire at factory in Halandri A volunteer firefighter died yesterday as he attempted to put out a small fire that had broken out in the yard of a factory in Halandri, northeastern Athens. The unnamed man arrived at the scene with a team of volunteers from Nea Pendeli after wood shavings caught fire at the factory for unknown reasons. The fire service said that the man fainted and was taken to the nearby Sismanogleio Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival at around 7.30 p.m. It was not immediately clear what caused his death. TRAFFICKER JAILED Nine-year term for people smuggler A court on the eastern Aegean island of Kos has jailed a 20-year-old foreign national to nine years and five months after finding him guilty of smuggling 20 illegal immigrants into Greece on his boat last week, the Merchant Marine Ministry said on Saturday. The convicted smuggler, who was not named or identified further, was also fined 43,500 euros. Meanwhile, the ministry said that seven migrants traveling without identity papers had been arrested when trying to board ferries in the ports of Igoumenitsa and Patras. Their nationalities were not made public. Bribery charge An employee of the Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Handicrafts (EOMMEH) has been arrested and charged with accepting a bribe so he would approve a businessman’s application for state funding, authorities in Thessaloniki said on Saturday. He is due to stand trial today. Shaky ground An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale jolted northwestern Greece in the early hours of Saturday but did not cause any injuries or damage. The quake occurred at 1.20 a.m. in the sea between Parga and the island of Paxoi and was felt in the port of Igoumenitsa. An earthquake of the same magnitude also struck the area at 9.09 p.m. on Friday. The tremor was felt on the Ionian island of Corfu. Holiday time There was a significant increase this weekend in the number of people leaving Athens on summer vacation, port authorities said yesterday. Some 24,000 people boarded ferries that left Piraeus on Saturday alone. A total of 49 ships sailed from Athens’s two main ports of Piraeus and Rafina yesterday.