ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Funerals for victims of Greece’s lethal wildfire have begun, with the burial of an elderly priest who drowned as he sought safety from the flames in the sea off the Mari coastal resort.
Hundreds attended Father Spyridon Papapostolou’s funeral Saturday in his parish of Halandri, a northern suburb of the Greek capital.
Papapostolou, along with his wife and daughter had entered the water to protect themselves from the fast-moving flames, but he passed out and drowned.
The blaze claimed the lives of at least 86 people, including children.
Coroner Nikolaos Kalogrias said the identification of remains continues at a steady pace.
Meanwhile, Public Order Minister Nikos Toskas told state broadcaster ERT it was impossible to evacuate the area’s 15,000 people in the 90 minutes that Monday’s blaze lasted.