Historic fires in Greece: seaplane crashes in operation, pilot safe and sound

Historic fires in Greece: seaplane crashes in operation, pilot safe and sound

A seaplane crashed during an operation on the Greek island of Zante in the southwest of the country. The pilot is safe.

AFP has learned from Greek firefighters that a water-bombed plane crashed Sunday afternoon while operating on the Greek island of Zante, and that its pilot is safe. The Pitzitel plane was carrying out an operation to put out a small fire on the Ionian island, west of the Greek mainland, when it crashed for some reason, according to the same source.

Two weeks of devastating fires

This incident comes at a time when Greece has been in the midst of very violent fires for nearly two weeks. Several weeks ago, Greece and Turkey were affected by large fires, fueled by a historic heatwave according to Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Greece and Turkey have been experiencing an exceptional heat wave for nearly two weeks. The fires, fueled by high temperatures, have killed eight people in Turkey, two in Greece, as well as dozens of patients in hospitals.

The people of the village of Goff on the island of Evia are trying to fight the fire.
AFP – Angelos Tzortzenis

While most of the fires were under control in Turkey on Sunday, the disaster on the island of Epoya, the second largest in Greece, remained the most worrying in the country. “We have seen fires, but this situation is unheard of,” Nikos Papayano, a resident of Jovis, laments before evacuating his engulfed village.

Bitter battle against fire

In the grip of fires for six days, this land sandwiched between Attica and the Aegean Sea presented a harrowing panorama. Along the roads, residents sprayed their lands with water, while fires engulfed the densely wooded areas.

Fires broke out in Greece.

Fires broke out in Greece.
AFP – Angelos Tzortzenis

Despite the rugged terrain, nearly 500 firefighters continued their fierce battle against the flames in the north of the island, which woke up Sunday surrounded by a thick cloud of smoke and a hail of ash, several journalists from the island noted.

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