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Greek fire toll at 93 as two more die in hospital

AFP logoAFP 8/9/2018
The Mati fire was the deadliest ever in Greece © Provided by AFP The Mati fire was the deadliest ever in Greece

The death toll from Greece's deadliest fire disaster rose to 93 on Thursday after two more people died in hospital.

The latest casualty was a 78-year-old woman, state TV ERT said. An 83-year-old man died on Wednesday.

Another 34 people are still hospitalised after the July 23 wildfire in the coastal resort of Mati, six of them in critical condition.

Four senior officials including the minister responsible for the police and the heads of the police and fire brigade have been removed from their posts.

Earlier Thursday, a list compiled by the civil protection authority said the victims included 44 women -- now 45 -- 35 men, 11 children and two still-unidentified persons.

The government had insisted that with winds blowing at speeds of up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour, there was little time to mount an effective evacuation.

It later emerged that the police had failed to properly seal off the area because the fire brigade had not alerted them to the location and size of the blaze.

As a result, many drivers were inadvertently diverted into Mati's narrow streets and trapped.

Many drivers were inadvertently diverted into Mati's narrow streets and trapped © Provided by AFP Many drivers were inadvertently diverted into Mati's narrow streets and trapped

Residents fleeing the flames with just the clothes on their backs were also left unaided on the beaches for hours.

A judicial investigation into possible faults by state officials is under way.

The relatives of two people who perished in the fires have also sued the authorities for negligence and exposure to danger.

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