NEWS

In Brief

FLIGHT PROBLEMS

Air traffic monitoring system breaks down three times on weekend Sources said yesterday the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) system broke down three times within a period of 12 hours over the weekend. A backup system kicked in, helping to support the system, which employees have described as being dated. Sources said that technical problems have appeared with the FIR system in the past but not with the same frequency. Between 2,300 and 2,600 flights pass through the FIR system every day, according to sources. FERRY DEATH Woman dies on boat from Kythnos after suffering second epileptic fit A 29-year-old woman died after suffering an epileptic fit aboard a ferry traveling from the island of Kythnos to Piraeus on Sunday night, authorities said yesterday. The woman suffered an epileptic fit before boarding the vessel but was cleared by a doctor on Kythnos to travel with a relative. However, the 29-year-old suffered another attack on the Aghios Giorgos ferry. The ship’s officers, aided by three passengers who were doctors, tried to help the woman but she died soon afterward. Following a change in regulations this year, many passenger ferries that conduct long-haul journeys are obliged to have their own doctors on board but the Aghios Giorgos was not one of these vessels. LETHAL SPEEDBOATS Two men killed in separate accidents Two people have died in two days after being hit by speedboats. Yesterday a 49-year-old German was hit by a speedboat while swimming off the coast of Malia, Crete. Other swimmers helped drag to shore the unnamed man, who had a large gash in his stomach. He died upon arriving at the hospital. On Sunday, a 39-year-old man who had gone spear fishing off a beach in Messinia, southern Greece, was also fatally injured by a speedboat. The captain of the boat was arrested. The circumstances of both incidents were unclear. Missing teen The child protection agency Hamogelo tou Paidiou (the Child’s Smile) yesterday appealed for information about a missing 17-year-old immigrant who has been missing from Athens’s Neos Cosmos district since Sunday. «Aleisa Halil is in Greece without his parents and has no one to support him,» the agency said, after being asked by a prosecutor to search for the youth. Those with any information about Halil, who has dark hair and eyes, is 1.65 meters tall and weighs about 65 kilos, are asked to call the national child hotline on 1056 or contact their local police. Pensioner murder A 33-year-old man has been arrested for the murder of an 82-year-old woman in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, police said yesterday. The suspect, who was not named, allegedly broke into the pensioner’s home last month and killed her by placing a pillow over her face and suffocating her. The 33-year-old is said to have confessed to the crime while also admitting that he stole 50 euros in cash from the woman’s home. Police said the suspect has also confessed to sexually harassing two women in Aspropyrgos and Elefsina, also west of Athens. Harbor rescue A 24-year-old Dutch tourist had a lucky escape yesterday after driving his car into the sea at Hersonissos harbor on Crete. Rescue workers pulled the unnamed man out of the water, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Body identified The body of a man found in Ioannina lake, northern Greece, on Sunday has been identified as a 26-year-old male from Athens who went missing four days ago, police said yesterday. The victim’s father identified his dead son after learning on a television news broadcast of a body being found in the lake. The victim had not been reported missing by the family. Police said it is unlikely that any foul play was involved but added that an an autopsy will determine the cause of death. Deadly overdose A 27-year-old man was found dead in the village of Pateles, near Iraklion, Crete, from a suspected heroin overdose, police said yesterday. The body of the unnamed man was discovered by his mother at the family’s home.