July 20, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Koropi: The Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection talks about arson to justify its miscalculations


The very first major fire of this fire season shows the mismanagement and ineffectiveness of the government in the field of fire protection.

The Ministry of Climate and Civil Protection, a few hours after the fire started in the Koropi area, quickly reported “arsonists” for which there was video evidence, but did not publish a corresponding document.

“The authorities have a video recording that shows a man setting fire to dry grass in the Waris-Koropi area,” – said the Minister of Climate and Civil Protection Vassilis Kikilias. The arsonist is reportedly seen on a store camera in Waris Koropi setting grass on fire and then running away. At the same time, the ministry claims that the criminal is captured in photographs further down the road, in the direction of Kitsi, with a jar of liquid.

Statement by the Minister for Climate Change and Civil Protection Vassilis Kikilias:

“Since dawn today, volunteer firefighters and civil defense forces have been fighting dozens of fires across the country. Starting from noon, new outbreaks appeared almost every 10 minutes. We knew – and that's why we brought this to everyone's attention – that we had extremely unfavorable weather conditions due to drought, high temperatures, but above all strong winds with gusts up to 8 and even 9 on the Beaufort scale.

There were dozens of fronts, some of them dangerous, for example in Karystos, Markopoulou and Naxos, where an arsonist who committed criminal negligence was arrested. Before the fire in Markopoulo had been extinguished, a new fire broke out in dry grass in Attica, in Varis Koropiou.Despite the immediate intervention of powerful ground and air forces, it quickly spread and grew.

There were 45 vehicles, 145 firefighters, 4 brigades from the 1st Ranger Group, 17 air assets (6 airplanes and 11 helicopters, including 1 GSDF helicopter), as well as numerous volunteers, local authorities and Greek police who assisted in safe evacuation.

As I said, the fire spread at lightning speed, but there is documented evidence that the cause was not only weather conditions. Fire and police investigators have visual evidence that clearly shows a man set fire to dry grass in Varis Koropiou, with an oil canister and rags found a short distance away. Once we receive clearance from the Arson Crime Command, the Fire Brigade and ELAS, we will release the footage.”

It is worth noting that, according to the fire chief, the fire started due to technical work on the railway.



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