Firefighting aircraft crashed in Greece, no casualties

Firefighting aircraft crashed in Greece, no casualties

A firefighting aircraft crashed in Greece on Sunday, but there were no casualties, the fire brigade told AFP.

The Pezetel aircraft crashed while tackling a blaze at the Ionian island of Zakynthos, in Western Greece. The pilot is safe and sound and was helped by other firefighters, the ANA news agency reported.

Firefighters and desperate locals Sunday battled raging wildfires on the Greek island of Evia that have charred vast areas of pine forest and forced hundreds of people to flee their homes.
“We have ahead of us another difficult evening, another difficult night,” civil protection deputy minister Nikos Hardalias said.

“On Evia we have two major fire fronts, one in the north and one in the south,” Hardalias said, adding that strong winds were pushing the northern fire front towards beach villages.

Greece and Turkey have been battling devastating fires for nearly two weeks as the region suffered its worst heatwave in decades, which experts have linked to climate change.

So far, the fires have killed two people in Greece and eight in neighbouring Turkey, with dozens more hospitalised.

While rain brought some respite from the blazes in Turkey over the weekend, Greece continues to endure soaring temperatures.

In all, 17 firefighting aircraft — planes and helicopters — were fighting the fires on Evia, Greece’s second largest island, Hardalias said.