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Two yacht officers set to remain in custody over Hydra fireworks blaze

A firefighter tries to extinguish a fire burning in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, 19 June 2024
A firefighter tries to extinguish a fire burning in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, 19 June 2024 Copyright AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris
Copyright AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris
By Euronews with ΑPΕ-ΜPΕ
Published on
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This article was originally published in Greek

Some 3,000 acres of pine forest were destroyed in the blaze overnight on Friday, said to be caused by fireworks shot off a yacht carrying Kazakh oligarchs.

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Greek authorities have extended the detention of two officers, charged on suspicion of triggering a wildfire on the island of Hydra by shooting off fireworks from a luxury yacht last Friday.

The remaining 11 crew members of the yacht were released on bail. They remain banned from leaving the country and are required to appear monthly at their local police station. According to the lawyers, seven crew members had their bail set at €10,000, while the remaining four had to pay €20,000.

The passengers — a group of Kazakhstan nationals reportedly including oligarchs — were allowed to leave Greece.

Some 3,000 acres of pine forest were destroyed in the blaze overnight on the popular tourist island some 40 nautical miles south of Athens, domestic media reported.

Six aircraft and two firefighting teams were sent to the Bisti area on the island, forcing the authorities to shuffle responders fighting other fires raging elsewhere in Greece.

The authorities claim to have determined the culprit after collecting the Hydra Port Authority traffic data and Coast Guard patrol reports from the area. Witnesses from another boat also came forward, reportedly filing a complaint about the fireworks from a yacht in the same area where the fire broke out.

The captain claimed that no fireworks were discharged from the yacht and that, on inspection by the Coast Guard, all the boat's emergency flares were intact and in place. He also stated that he was the one who informed the Hydra Fire Department of the fire that had broken out.

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