Canadair plane fighting wildfires in Greece crashes with 2 aboard



A Canadian-built plane fighting wildfires in Greece crashed on Tuesday, as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned of tough days ahead, with blazes destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands of tourists from the island of Rhodes.

State broadcaster ERT showed footage of the plane dropping water over a fire, then crashing into a hillside and bursting into flames.

The Greek air force said there were two airmen aboard the amphibious Canadair CL-215 plane when it crashed over the island of Evia, east of Athens.

Two helicopters had rushed to the scene to carry out a search and rescue operation, the air force said. It gave no details on the fate of the airmen.

‘What the entire planet is facing’

Hundreds of firefighters, helped by forces from Turkey and Slovakia, were battling blazes that have raged on the island of Rhodes since last Wednesday, resurging in hot, windy conditions. More emergency flights were due to take home vacationers.

Mitsotakis said on Tuesday the next few days would be difficult, with conditions possibly improving after Thursday.

“All of us are standing guard,” he said. “In the face of what the entire planet is facing, especially the Mediterranean, which is a climate change hot spot, there is no magical defence mechanism. If there was, we would have implemented it.”


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