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Home / World / "Serious signs" of deadly Greece's fire was arson, says the official

"Serious signs" of deadly Greece's fire was arson, says the official

Greek investigators have received "serious evidence" that a forest fire that killed at least 82 people was deliberately discontinued, a government official said Thursday.

Minister of Public Order Nikos Toskas told reporters, satellite image analysis and ground inspections suggest the fire that broke out in several places in a short time on Monday from the arson.

The special arson department of the Hellenic Fire Service, which investigates all major fires, investigates the exact cause of the fire. The mayor of the area where it had previously broken out said it could have been sparks from a separate power pole.

Near Rafina, northeast of the capital, the fire broke out. Wounded by stormy winds, it raced through seaside resorts of full-time residences and vacation homes popular with Athenians and tourists.

  A man stands next to his burned house and car as he rides his cell phone in Mati, east of Athens, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Rescuers searched through charred houses and cars for the missing forest fires near the Greek capital, killed at least 74 people and sent thousands on the run. (1965)

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.)

The large area through which the flames swept complicates the process of identifying victims. Officials said there was no way to know how many people were there at the time. On Thursday afternoon there was still no official number missing.

In the Athens morgue, desperate relatives were informed of the steps required to assign one of the missing bodies to a missing person, including DNA samples and dental records. According to the police, a team specializing in the identification of disaster victims was deployed at the request of the fire brigade

"The procedure is more difficult and more difficult than that of other mass disasters we have historically treated as a forensics department," said Nikolaos Kalogrias "Here, the main cause of death was the burning, in most cases, the complete burning (of the body), so identification is very difficult."

The Federal Criminal Police said a team of forensic specialists had arrived in Greece to the authorities help the dead The team members have worked on major disasters such as the plane crash of 2002 in Überlingen in Switzerland and the 2004 tsunami in Asia.

<img src = "http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com / content / fox-news / world / 2018/07/26 /-serious indications-deadly-Greece-wildfire-was-arson-official-says / _jcr_content / article-t ext / article-par-8 / inline_spotlight_ima / image.img.jpg / 612/344 / 1532632904242.jpg? ve = 1 & tl = 1 "alt =" On July 24, 2018, a burnt offering was seen in Agios Andreas, east of Athens to torch through seaside resorts near the Greek capital, houses, cars and forests and kill at least 74 people, the authorities said Tuesday. (19659006) [Copyright 2018 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.]

Thanassis Moraitis went to the morgue in search of his 90-year-old mother.

He tried to drive away with his mother, wife and 19-year-old son, but the fire was too fast. They had to give up the car and ran to the beach and into the water. Moraitis suffered burns to his leg from the heat of the air. His mother did not make it.

"There was a fire rain in the sea, there was smoke, there was a strong 12 wind," said the 53-year-old, adding that boats took the family after about three hours

"I did not even have that Chance to say goodbye to my mother, "said Moraitis.

 Rescue team members carry an injured woman in Mati, east of Athens, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Rescue workers on Wednesday searched through charred houses and cars for those who decimated Greece after decades of the deadliest forest fires Coastal areas near Athens, killing at least 79 people and leaving thousands fleeing. (AP / Thanassis Stavrakis)

[Copyright 2018 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.]

Fire Department spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri said the search for victims will continue and will end only after thorough investigation of all buildings. The rescue crews could not have entered houses that had not been destroyed and closed, she said.

Apart from the house searches, Coast Guard and volunteer divers scanned waters off the coast and near a deserted island. Hundreds of volunteers lined up at Rafina Town Hall to offer help.

During the fire, hundreds fled to the nearby beaches, and many bathed on the sea to escape the wild flames and stifling smoke. Dozens of people spent hours at sea before being picked up by coastal wax boats, fishing boats, and a passing ferry. Several of the dead had drowned.

The hardest hit area was the coastal community of Mati, where the majority of the victims were found, including 26 huddled people, many of whom hugged.

<img src = "http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/world/2018/07/26/serious-indications-deadly-greece-wildfire-was- arson-official-says / _jcr_content / article-text / article-par-16 / inline_spotlight_ima / image.img.jpg / 612/344 / 1532632928912.jpg? ve = 1 & tl = 1 "alt =" A man is walking the trees on the beach embrace the coast in Mati east of Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Twin-area fires racing through popular coastal areas near the Greek capital have set fire to homes, cars and forests and killed at least 49 people, said authorities Tuesday Increasing Number of Dead After the rescue workers reported that they had found the corpses of more than 20 people near a beach (1965) [1959006] (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.)

Maria Saridou , who had arrived at the morgue with her son, did not hope for her 55-year-old sister Eleni among the victims e had gone swimming with her in Mati with a friend, Saridou said, but they were separated in the chaos of fire. She had not heard from her since.

"We found her car, it was not burned, nor was the house," said 60-year-old Saridou. "It's just that we can not find her, I think she lives, where she went, nobody knows where she went."

Hundreds of houses were burned. The speed with which the flames spread surprised many. The narrow streets of Mati, an area without town planning, were quickly clogged with parked and abandoned cars as people tried to escape, hampered access to fire trucks and blocked escape routes.

A Belgian citizen and an Irish national among those who have been confirmed dead.

It is believed that some of the victims tried to make it on narrow paths to the shore, but got lost in the thick smoke or their paths were blocked by the fast-moving fire. Even those on beaches were not sure, as flames burned trees and vegetation on the water while burning pine cones were raining down, survivors said.

<img src = "http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/world/2018/07/26/serious-indications-deadly-greece-wildfire-was- arson-official-says / _jcr_content / article-text / article-par-21 / inline_spotlight_ima / image.img.jpg / 612/344 / 1532632955149.jpg? ve = 1 & tl = 1 "alt =" Buildings are burning in the city of Mati, east of Athens, Monday, July 23, 2018. Regional authorities have declared a state of emergency in the eastern and western parts of the Greater Athens area as fires raged through the pine forests and coastal settlements on both sides of the Greek capital. “/>

[Copyright 2018 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.]

Allegations of the apparent lack of an evacuation plan and what many perceived as a slow response, with survivors who said they had been abandoned to everything to do to save themselves.

Firefighting and Rescue Efforts, b especially from the air and the sea, were hampered by storm winds and rough seas. When the Rafinafire broke out, the teams also fought a massive fire west of Athens, which had broken hours earlier and had also burned down houses.

But survivors have accused authorities of not having adequately prepared and evacuated the area,

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos visited Mati on Thursday morning and was not notified by desperate men and women accusing the authorities in the first hours of the fire enough to do, accused.

"People died for nothing!" A woman sobbed the minister

The local Giannis Kardiakos, who said he stayed in the area until midnight, said that the efforts to fight the fire and rescue those who had fled to the beaches began too late.

There was no protection, there was nothing! … I say the things as they were, "he said as Kammenos explained what the military and firefighters had done to fight the fire." I'm not lying. We're not talking political here, "he added before he cried.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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