ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece will this weekend bury the victims of a devastating forest fire near Athens, killing at least 88 people and blaming the government for dealing with the disaster.
In the town of Rafina near Athens, Greece, on July 23, 2018, wildfire rages. REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took on Friday the political responsibility for the Opposition leaders accused of not protecting life properly.
On Sunday, three members of the same family are expected to come to rest at the first known funeral since the fire broke out Monday in the coastal village of Mati, 30 km east of the Greek capital Athens.
"We will say our last goodbye to our beloved Grigoris, Evita and Andrew, the tragic victims in Mati," the Fytrou family said in a statement released by the Athens news agency, calling on the media not to attend.
The missing nine-year-old twins Sofia and Vasiliki Filippopoulou, whose pictures have appeared internationally in the newspaper The Times, were declared dead, state broadcaster ERT reported Saturday.
DNA testing showed the couple that had sparked a national sympathy and their grandparents had died in the fire at Mati. Her grandfather's burned-out car was outside a plot of land on which 26 people died, with some of the victims finding themselves embracing death, ERT said.
The government has announced a long list of relief efforts, promising to solve decades-old problems, including arbitrary and unlicensed residential buildings, to minimize the risk of repeated disaster and cool public anger.
A deputy mayor in Marathon, who manages some of the areas affected by the fire, was the first official to resign from wildfire on Saturday.
Reporting by Costas Pitas Editing by Mark Heinrich, William Maclean