Firefighting plane crashes while dousing blaze on Greek island as horror footage shows it clip tree and plunge into hill | The Sun

TWO air force pilots died when their firefighting plane clipped a tree and crashed while battling a wildfire in Greece today.

Horror footage shows the aircraft plunging into a hillside as thousands continue to be evacuated from holiday resorts.

Christos Moulas, 34, and Periklis Stefanidis, 27, were sent to douse scrub fires near Platanistos at the southern tip of Evia island.

Footage shows their yellow Canadair CL-215 plane swooping low to dump water on smouldering bushes.

But it clips a tree, and a piece of wing believed to be a flap or other control surface is seen falling to the ground.

Seconds later the firefighting plane rolls over and nosedives towards the ground.


Greece holiday warning over 46C ‘heat blast’ as tourists told to stay inside

Wildfire warning as 2 more Greek resorts evacuated…see if your holiday’s at risk

The pilot is unable to pull out of the dive and the aircraft is seen vanishing behind a ridge, followed by a fireball explosion and cloud of smoke.

Helicopter that were also fighting fires nearby flew to the scene of the crash, near the coastal town of Karystos.

One dropped water to douse the flaming wreckage, and another reportedly landed to check on the crew.

Officials have not yet said if there were any survivors.

Most read in The Sun


BBC forced to apologise for 'inappropriate' question to Women's World Cup captain


Woman 20s 'falls from balcony onto shopper' at shopping centre


Forest lose another legend as Prem star Chris Bart-Williams dies aged just 49


Tour operators dumped us in Rhodes despite raging wildfires, claim Brits

An eyewitness told local media: "I saw it pass me at a 90 degree angle.

"I thought, 'What is he doing?'. I considered it to have taken a dangerous flight slope.

"In three seconds I heard the explosion. It was immediately engulfed in flames."

He said two small blazes were sparked by crash but nearby fire engines immediately rushed to put them out.

Holidaymakers have been told to evacuate parts of Evia, Greece’s second-largest island, after forest fires erupted in the areas.

Evacuations were also underway today in the resort of Agioi Theodoroi near Athens. 

It comes as thousands of Brits were flown back from fire-ravaged Rhodes – with many more facing their summer holidays being cancelled.

As many as 10,000 Britons were estimated to be on the island, a favourite tourist destination, the Foreign Office said.

Some 20,000 people had to leave homes and hotels over the weekend as the inferno spread across Rhodes, after charring swathes of land and damaging buildings.

Meanwhile, several tourists got off a flight heading to Rhodes after the pilot warned them it was a "terrible idea" to travel there.

The plane was just about to take off from Gatwick when the easyJet captain urged the 37 British holidaymakers on board to think twice about their trip.

He said travelling to the island for a holiday was a "bad idea", explaining return flights are being managed by the military.

Eight travellers, including a young boy in tears, took heed of his sobering words and disembarked the aircraft, BBC Wales reported.

Firefighters on the island are still battling the flames as thousands of people have been forced to evacuate burning hotels, with tourists scrambling to get home on evacuation flights.

The deputy mayor of Rhodes, Konstantinos Taraslias, said the fires are still burning out of control after seven days of fighting them.

Wildfires are also raging on the island of Corfu, off the west coast of Greece, and tourists have been warned of an "extreme fire risk" in Crete.

Read More on The Sun

I took my kid to the best indoor water park – but everyone says the same thing

Catfish has no front teeth but looks like Mariah Carey with makeup on

Temperatures have risen above 40C in parts of Greece, with a new evacuation warning being issued for the village of Vati in Rhodes.

More than 16,000 people have been so far evacuated by land and 3,000 by sea from 12 villages and several hotels.

Source: Read Full Article