Fire officials in Greece raised the death toll from a wildfire that raged through a coastal area east of Athens to 91 and reported that 25 people were missing on Sunday July 29th, six days after Europe's deadliest forest fire in more than a century.
According to AP, the flames sped through the village of Mati, a popular resort spot, without warning on July 23rd. A database maintained by the Centre for the Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Brussels shows it as the deadliest wildfire in Europe since 1900.
Hellenic Fire Service spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri provided a breakdown that illustrated why the death toll continued to expand and the list of people thought to be missing was difficult to draw up with precision. Malliri said that as of Sunday evening, July 29th 59 victims had been identified from bodies or remains and another four people injured in the fire had died in area hospitals. But identities have not yet been linked to another 28 sets of remains, she said.
At the morning memorial service in Mati, the senior local Greek Orthodox Church official, Bishop Kyrillos, said the community was grieving the simultaneous loss of family, neighbours and friends.
The bishop said, “There are fewer of us now than usually. It is the victims of the recent fire that are missing— friends, relatives and acquaintances, next-door people that we saw every day in town and on the beach.”