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Charred Remains Making Greek Fire Victims Identification Difficult

July 27, 2018

ATHENS – With forest fires reaching temperatures of as much as 1,742 degrees Fahrenheit, some of the 85 dead in the Greek Wildfires are proving hard to identify because the remains are so charred they were almost incinerated, with coroners making to determine who they were.

Dozens of the victims still haven’t been able to be identified because most were burned beyond recognition, making it difficult as well to assess the death toll, with as many as 174 still unaccounted for, officials said.

Coroners are collecting DNA samples and dental records from survivors with missing relatives in the hopes of finding matches, Kathimerini said, with search teams scouring fields, going burned house-to-burned-house and along the coast for possible victims in the water who dove into the sea trying to escape but faced high seas and heavy winds.

Germany has sent a team of specialists to Athens to help with the operation and the US put drones into action and US Navy planes earlier trying to spot the sources with indications that it was yet another act of arson to clear wooded land so developers could make money.

“The procedure is difficult, harder than that of other mass disasters which we have dealt with in the past as a forensics department,” coroner Nikolaos Kalogrias toled Reuters. “Here, the main cause of death was burning, in most cases the complete burning (of the body), so identification is very difficult.”

The Greek Health Ministry said that 51 adults and four children were being treated for burns and other injuries at various Athens hospitals, with 11 adults in critical condition.

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