NEWS

Bodies of three Greek sailors returned home

The bodies of three Greek sailors who died when a blaze broke out on the Aegean Wind cargo ship off Venezuela on Christmas Day were returned to Greece yesterday after authorities in the Netherlands Antilles reversed a decision that would have led to the corpses being cremated on the Caribbean islands. Officials had refused to allow the bodies to be flown to Greece for hygiene reasons because they were decomposing and insisted that the families of the deceased travel to the Netherlands Antilles to attend a cremation ceremony. However, after negotiations, the Greek government managed to secure the return of the bodies of Giorgos Xypolitakis, 23, Giorgos Kalfayiannis, 52, and Constantinos Moutsinas, 55, which were flown to Athens International Airport yesterday. The Greek sailors were among nine people killed in the fire.