A wildfire has killed at least fifty people and injured more than 150 as it swept through a small resort town near the Greek capital, Athens, with huge flames trapping families with children as they fled.
People scrambled to the sea as the blaze closed in close to the shore. Hundreds were rescued by passing boats but others found their way blocked by smoke and flames, Reuters reported.
“I was briefed by a rescuer that he saw the shocking picture of twenty-six people tightly huddled in a field some 30 metres from the beach,” Nikos Economopoulos, head of Greece’s Red Cross, told Skai TV.
The fire which hit Mati, 29 km east of Athens, late Monday afternoon was by far the country’s worst since flames devastated the southern Peloponnese peninsula in August 2007, killing dozens.