Euronews reports that two weeks after a deadly wildfire in Greece claimed at least 90 lives, relatives of the victims are demanding answers from the authorities about why a new evacuation plan was not implemented. The minister responsible for the police and fire services resigned on Friday and the heads of both branches have since been replaced.
Vangelis Bournous, the mayor of Rafina, said ”I believe that the fire department is to blame completely, and this is something that is going to be proven by the investigation, some are trying to avoid facing their responsibilities by whispering claims that they told local officials, these claims are not true. We have all the evidence to prove which ones are the liars”.
Kathimerini reports that there was no communication between Greece’s fire service and the country’s police force on the night of July 23 when huge wildfires in Attica led to the deaths of dozens of people.
Following revelations of a deficient firefighting strategy, which led to one helicopter running out of fuel and another losing communication with ground forces, Kathimerini has seen official documents indicating that multiple calls from Attica Police headquarters to the headquarters of the fire service in Halandri went unanswered.
The claims are in writing and are to go to Athens prosecutor Ilias Zagoraios, who is overseeing an investigation into who or what should be held accountable for the fires.
The only call from the fire service to the police that was recorded that night, Kathimerini understands, was to the emergency line 100 by a fireman seeking help to rescue people trapped in a burning house in Neos Voutzas.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pressed on Monday with an overhaul of top officials in a delayed response to criticism over the state’s response to the fires, replacing the country’s civil protection chief, the fourth change of heads in as many days.