Wildfire rages in Greek tourist hotspot

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A popular tourist destination in Greece has been engulfed in wildfires, with at least 80 people confirmed dead, while around 150 have been injured.

The wildfire swept through the small tourist-popular town of Mati, 18 miles east of Athens, after the blaze began on Monday afternoon. It is currently unknown how many of the dead or injured are tourists, but it is known that 10 Danish tourists are still missing at sea after fleeing the fire by boat. Around 700 have also been rescued from the ocean where they were trying to escape the blaze.

Greek authorities have called for assistance fighting the blaze from fellow EU members.

“Mati doesn’t even exist as a settlement anymore,” one woman told local Greek news broadcaster Skai TV. “I saw corpses, burned-out cars. I feel lucky to be alive.”

The area is said to be particularly popular with pensioners and children in holiday camps. It has also caused the closure of one of Greece’s busiest motorways.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, with many news agencies predicting the unusually hot summer in Europe being a major cause. However officials have been quoted by AFP New Agency saying that the fires could have been started by arsonists looking to loot the abandoned homes.