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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

2 Killed in Greek Firefighting Helicopter Crash

Thu 14 Jul 2022 | 03:15 PM
Israa Farhan

Greek authorities announced that a firefighting helicopter that was taking part in putting out a fire on the island of Samos crashed Wednesday in the Aegean Sea, killing two of its four crew members.

A Hellenic Coast Guard official told AFP that the two men, a Romanian and a Moldavian, who was unconscious, were pulled out of the water on Wednesday evening and taken to hospital.

The official added that efforts to resuscitate them had failed, and "they died of their injuries."

The coast guard said in a statement that the Romanian captain of the helicopter and a Greek crew member was rescued.

State television"ERT" stated that the helicopter crashed while filling its tank with water from the sea to put out a forest fire near Paleochori village in the southwest of the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea, which broke out around 14:00 yesterday.

The fire continued to burn on Thursday due to strong winds of seven degrees on the Beaufort scale (comprising of 13 degrees), according to the fire department.

Authorities said about 100 firefighters and 15 vehicles, backed by an army of volunteers, were on site to tackle the issue.

An investigation has begun into the cause of the fire.

Greece is prone to forest fires. Last year, they killed three people and destroyed 130,000 hectares (1,300 square km) of forest.