Greek fires reach site of ancient Olympics; at least 60 killed

August 27, 2007 02:19

Firefighters backed by aircraft prevented the birthplace of the ancient Olympics from being consumed by flames Sunday as Greece's worst wildfires in memory blazed across the country and the death toll climbed to 60. New fires broke out faster than others could be brought under control, with 63 new blazes on Sunday. Walls of flames have swallowed villages, forests and farmland over three days, leaving behind a charred landscape dotted with the carcasses of burned animals. The government declared a state of emergency on Saturday. "Fires are burning in more than half the country," said fire department spokesman Nikos Diamandis. "This is definitely an unprecedented disaster for Greece." Desperate residents appealed through television stations for help from a firefighting service already stretched to the limit and many blamed authorities for leaving them defenseless.

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