Two dead after firefighting helicopter crashes off Greek island of Samos

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Two members of a helicopter crew battling a forest fire on the Greek island of Samos died when it crashed into the sea, authorities said on Wednesday.

According to AP News, a Romanian national and a Greek liaison officer died in the crash, while two Moldovan nationals survived.

Photo of the helicopter crash. Photo: Samos24.gr.

The Soviet-made Mil Mi-8 medium twin-turbine helicopter took off from Samos at 4.39 pm and fell into the sea at 5.55 pm, the Greek Coast Guard said.

Nine vessels, five from the Coast Guard, two from the army and two private, as well as a helicopter, took part in the rescue operation.

A total of 27 firefighters, four water-dropping aircraft, and one helicopter were continuing to fight the blaze that broke out earlier on the island on Wednesday in a forested area near the village of Palaiohori.

Due to the strong winds, the villages of Makria Pounta and Limnionas were evacuated late on Wednesday.

A village on Samos island is currently burning. Photo: Keep Talking Greece.

This is the second big fire on Samos island in 2022 and the third since July 2021. The deaths are the first reported casualties from Greece’s fire season.

Source: AP News.

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