NEWS

In Brief

ACCIDENTAL PLUNGE

Italian airline official seriously injured after falling out of plane The representative of an Italian airline was hospitalized on Rhodes early yesterday after falling out of an airplane parked on the island’s airport runway. The unnamed official opened the door of the aircraft shortly before takeoff but the staircase to the runway had already been removed, so he fell several meters onto the concrete runway, authorities said. It was unclear why he had opened the door of the plane. The official was in stable condition yesterday. CORFU BRAWL Five Greek sailors hurt after fight with 11 Serb tourists Five Greek sailors were injured late on Saturday following a brawl involving 11 Serbian tourists at the marina of Palaiokastritsa on Corfu. The trouble is believed to have started when the sailors scolded the Serbs for splashing each other with water from a hose. According to the sailors, the Serbs attacked one of the sailors who accused them of wasting water. The Serbs, who say the sailors attacked them first, have been charged with causing bodily harm. One of the sailors had his wrist broken while the others had lighter injuries. U18 BASKETBALL Greece reaches European final Greece’s Under-18 national basketball team was last night taking on Serbia in the final of the European Championship in Madrid, Spain, with the hope of becoming the first Greek side to win the trophy at this level. Greece made it into the final after beating Lithuania 86-78 in the semifinal on Saturday. Once again, Greece’s star player, US-born Costas Koufos, was the driving force behind another impressive display in the semifinal. The 2.16-meter center scored 37 points, won 20 rebounds and had five blocks against Lithuania. The Serbians got to the final after beating Latvia 82-71. Greece’s best ever outing at Under-18 level was in 1970 when the national team came second. Loan scam Five people have been arrested in Thessaloniki on suspicion of running a credit scam that earned them 365,000 euros, police said on Saturday. The three men and two women were allegedly part of a group that used forged financial data, such as tax return statements, to take out bank loans and buy luxury cars. Police said that over the last two months, the gang had taken out loans worth 275,000 euros and had bought vehicles worth 90,000 euros. None of the suspects was identified but officers said that they are looking for more people in connection to the alleged scam. The five people have been accused of forgery and fraud, both criminal offenses. Samos migrants Authorities on Samos said yesterday that they had detained 92 illegal immigrants on the eastern Aegean island in the previous 30 hours. A coast guard patrol boat intercepted a vessel carrying 64 Afghan migrants off Samos early on Saturday. A young Turkish man, suspected of trying to smuggle the migrants to the island, was also arrested. Police detained another 16 migrants on the island on Saturday after arriving in an inflatable dinghy from Turkey. Yesterday, authorities detained 12 immigrants, all from Afghanistan, in the Nisi area of the island. Fatal drilling A worker died of electrocution yesterday while boring a hole for a well in the area of Mantoules, near Ierapetra, on Crete. Police did not release any details about the man but said that the owner of the plot of land where the drilling was taking place was arrested. Another worker was also taken into custody. Officers were looking for the man who owned the drill. Paxoi quake An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale shook some Ionian islands and parts of western Greece yesterday. The tremor was recorded at 2.20 p.m. south of Paxoi island. Seismologists said there had been increased seismic activity in the area recently. There were no reports of injuries or damage. Deadly crashes Three people were killed in a car crash on the Athens-Thessaloniki national road near the Vale of Tempe early Saturday. The accident occurred when a car traveling toward Thessaloniki veered into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on with a truck that was traveling in the opposite direction. All three people in the car were killed but police did not release further details. Another two people died on Saturday when two cars crashed head-on near Ioannina. Police said both were Albanian nationals. One was aged 38, the other 54. Traffickers caught Police in Thessaloniki arrested two suspected human traffickers and nine illegal immigrants early yesterday. The arrests were made after officers stopped two cars near the city’s main railway station. Police said that the nine migrants had crossed into Greece from Bulgaria but did not make public their nationality. They then met with the alleged traffickers who picked the migrants up in two cars, having paid 1,500 euros each to be transported to Thessaloniki. Police did not name the alleged smugglers but said that they were foreign nationals. Missing bather Coast guard officers were last night looking for a 43-year-old man who went missing while swimming in the sea in Alyki, near the town of Aigion in the northern Peloponnese.