UPDATE 2 - 2 dead after firefighting plane crashes on Greek island of Evia

UPDATE 2 - 2 dead after firefighting plane crashes on Greek island of Evia

CL-215 aircraft with 2 crew members, crashed during firefighting in Platanistos, Greek Air Force says

UPDATES WITH DEATH TOLL; CHANGES HEADLINE, LEDE; ADDS DETAILS

By Nur Asena Erturk and Beyza Binnur Donmez

ANKARA (AA) - Two pilots died when a plane deployed to help put out wildfires on the Greek island of Evia crashed Tuesday in the coastal town of Karystos, according to media reports.

The Greek Air Force said pilot Hristos Mulas, 34, and co-pilot Periklis Stefanidis, 27, died in the accident.

The Canadair plane was sent to fight the blaze in the village of Platanistos, said the Kathimerini newspaper.

"A search and rescue operation is underway," the Greek Air Force said in a statement earlier. "1 Super Puma helicopter and 1 AB-205 Air Force helicopter have rushed to the area.”

The CL-215 aircraft with two crew members "crashed during aerial firefighting in Platanistos, Evia," it said.

National Defense Minister Nikos Dendias declared three days of mourning for the Armed Forces for the loss of life, the National Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Evia is Greece’s second-largest island, less than half the area of Crete, but far closer to the mainland, lying roughly east and northeast of Athens, diagonal to the Attica peninsula.

Dozens of devastating wildfires have been ravaging Greece for days, including on the island of Rhodes, a tourist hotspot.

Several countries, including Türkiye, have reached out to help Greece in extinguishing the blazes, which have burned houses and forests.




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