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Society

Greek Fires Death Toll Now 87, One Still Missing

August 4, 2018

ATHENS – Revising the figure downward amid the horror of remains being mixed together, Greek authorities put the number of the dead from the July 23 wildfires, the worst that tore through the seaside village of Mati at 87, not 92, with one still unaccounted for.

The fire service said in a statement that coroners have so far identified 81 bodies recovered from the scene of the destruction in Mati, or those who drowned in the sea after diving in to escape the inferno, waiting for help that never came.

Another two bodies that have been burnt beyond recognition have not been identified or sought by their families, while an additional four people succumbed to their injuries in the hospital. It was unclear whether other bodies remained unidentified.

Although officials had initially said arson was suspected in the July 23 blaze, there is increasing suspicion it might have been caused by negligence with the arson squad earlier saying it knew of a person who started a fire on Mt. Penteli to burn some materials but that it got out of hand.

With fury over the government’s failure to have a disaster or evacuation plan the person hasn’t been publicly named as an investigation continues.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

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