Rescuers in Greece shocked to find charred bodies of victims in fast-moving blaze

MATI, Greece At least 74 people have been killed by wildfires in Greece, and the number is only expected to rise.

The fast-moving flames quickly consumed homes and buildings fueled by 50 mph wind gusts. Some people tried to escape on highways only to be surrounded by walls of fire. Aerial video reveals burned-out neighborhoods and singed land.

One man, searching for whatever he could find near where he his wife was killed, was still in shock.

“I took my baby and ran to the sea, while my wife – I didn’t know what happened. I think she was burned herself here,” he said.

Cars burnt by a wildfire in the village of Mati, near Athens, July 24, 2018.


In the coastal town of Mati, a popular tourist town near Athens, the charred remains of victims were recovered. A group of people were running to safety and made it to the water’s edge, but encountered a cliff too steep to jump off. So they huddled together but were overcome by the flames. Rescuers were shocked to find the bodies of 25 people, and the positions of their bodies showed they were hugging each other when they died.

Some who did make it to the sea described disorienting scenes. Nikos Stavrinidis tried to swim away from the smoke, only to be pulled by the strong currents.

“It is horrible to see the person next to you drowning and not be able to help him,” he said.

The Coast Guard and private boats rescued more than 700 people who had fled to beaches or right into the water.

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