Greece: Wildfires hit area around Alexandroupoli
Firefighters made a horrifying discovery after battling a raging wildfire that has gripped northeastern Greece for four days.
Eighteen bodies were found in the Avanta area of Alexandroupolis.
Authorities are now probing whether these victims were migrants who might have entered the country via Turkey’s nearby border.
This shocking find comes as hundreds of firefighters battle numerous wildfires fuelled by strong winds across Greece.
In the last 24 hours, two people lost their lives, and two firefighters were injured in separate incidents.
READ MORE: Horrific wildfires in Greece reach major hospital as evacuation chaos ensues
The Disaster Victim Identification Team was activated by Greek police to identify the 18 bodies found near a makeshift structure in the Avanta area, according to Ioannis Artopios, a fire department spokesperson.
Alexandroupolis lies close to the Turkish border, a route often taken by migrants from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa trying to enter the European Union.
With evacuation orders in place, Avanta was among the villages cleared, signaled by mobile alerts.
As night fell, a massive wall of flames advanced towards Alexandroupolis, forcing eight more villages and the city’s hospital to evacuate. The city’s skyline turned red from the flames, with smoke and ash filling the air.
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More than 65 of the hospital’s 100 patients were moved to a docked ferry, while others were transferred to hospitals in northern Greece. The ferry carried more than 20 patients to Kavala for further transfer to another hospital.
It comes as elsewhere in Europe, a significant blaze has been raging in Tenerife, Spain’s Canary Islands, for a week, though no casualties or home damage has been reported.
European Union officials have linked the increasing wildfire frequency and intensity to climate change, highlighting 2022 as the second-worst year for such damage since 2017.
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