Further tragedy in Greece as plane fighting wildfires crashes, killing two

Greece plane crash
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Further tragedy in Greece as plane fighting wildfires crashes, killing two

Two pilots have died after a plane fighting wildfires on the Greek island of Evia crashed.

The dead are a 34-year-old air force commander and his 27-year-old co-pilot.

The accident happened about 30 minutes from the town of Karystos on the island of Evia, where a fire has been burning for several days.

Footage posted on social media shows the plane appeared to clip its wing on a tree before crashing.

Greece’s fire department has been battling 53 wildfires across the country in the last 24 hours, including on the island of Rhodes and in Corfu, as well as Evia and in the Achaea region on the mainland.

British tourists have described fleeing from wildfires in the south of Rhodes, where several hotels have been severely or partly damaged.

Jet2, TUI and easyJet have been laying on repatriation flights to bring thousands of customers back to the UK.

In an update on Tuesday afternoon, Jet2 said its repatriation programme will continue in tandem with its scheduled flights to Rhodes.

It added: “We have a hugely expanded team of colleagues in Rhodes, and they are present throughout resorts, evacuation centres, and at Rhodes Airport.

“Our colleagues are highly visible in their red uniforms and are working around the clock to communicate with, and look after our customers, and we are incredibly grateful for their efforts.”

All Jet2 flights and holidays to Rhodes are cancelled up to 30 July. “We will continue to fly aircraft to Rhodes with no customers onboard, so that we can bring our customers back to the UK on their scheduled flights, as well as any additional Jet2 customers who wish to return to the UK,” it said.

Jet2 said it would provide an update for next week ‘in due course’.

TUI has cancelled flights and holidays up to and including Friday 28 July and all holidays to affected hotels until Sunday 30 July.

Main image is stock photo of plane fighting Evia wildfires from Shutterstock

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