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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-28

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Two arrested over accident on Lousios River

  • [01] Two arrested over accident on Lousios River

    Police on Monday announced that two people have been arrested and charged over the tragic accident that cost the lives of at least six hikers on the Lousios River.

    By order of the Tripolis public prosecutor, police arrested the co-owners of the limited liability company "K. Christopoulos-L. Moraitis, Special Tourism" based in Karytaina, Arcadia, which had organised the ill-fated trekking holiday in which at least six people lost their lives. One of the two owners of the company had been the guide for the unfortunate hiking group.

    They have been charged with repeated counts of manslaughter and causing bodily harm through negligence. Later on Monday, the two men will be led before the Tripolis public prosecutor who will study the case file and decide whether the charges constitute a misdemeanour or a criminal offence, in which case they will go before an examining magistrate.

    The search to find the two hikers that are still missing in the Lousios Gorge continued on Monday, even as weather conditions deteriorated and further hampered rescue workers in their task. Taking part in the search are firemen from all areas of the Peloponnese, the EMAK special disaster response units from Athens and Patras and volunteer rescue groups, all of whom are coordinated by the deputy chief of the fire department and the regional fire department director for the Peloponnese.

    At least six hikers had been confirmed dead on Sunday evening after a group of 18 hikers were swept away by a torrent on the Lousios River in Arcadia prefecture the previous evening, according to rescuers. Earlier reports that one of the two missing hikers had been spotted and help was on the way could not be corroborated by authorities.

    According to officials, a group of 18 hikers from Athens, after visiting the nearby towns of Dimitsana and Stemnitsa, set off for a walk along the riverbed and an ascent of a waterfall, and were swept away by a torrent of water and mud due to rainfall a little while earlier as they attempted to cross the river.

    Searchers, who continued non-stop throughout the night, have so far recovered six bodies and rescued another 10 hikers, while two were still missing.

    The bodies have been taken to Pan-Arcadian Hospital in Tripolis for identification by relatives. The survivors were also taken to the hospital, where they were given first aid treatment, while three were hospitalised overnight for precautionary reasons.

    The fire brigades and police forces of Tripolis, Megalopolis and Vytina immediately mounted an extensive search and rescue operation by land and air to locate the hikers after the torrent on Saturday afternoon, while EMAK emergency rescue teams rushed to the area from Athens and Patras, aided by four Super Puma all-weather helicopters. Teams of army commandos (LOK) as well as volunteer organisations from all over the Peloponese and other parts of the country also rushed to the area to join the operation.

    Civil Protection secretary general Panayiotis Fourlas also arrived on the spot on Friday evening to coordinate the efforts, accompanied by Fire Brigade inspector for southern Greece K. Kakos and brigade deputy chief Fotis Papas.

    Police psychologists were at the scene to provide support to the relatives of the victims.

    Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in a press statement, expressed its deep grief for the loss of lives in the Lousios incident.

    It also demanded an investigation into whether the company that organised such excursions and extreme sports in the region had ensured and abided by the elementary rules for the safety of the participants.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo showing a group rafting down the Alfeios River.


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