We regret to pass on that a Firefighter died in the Line of Duty today after being crushed when his fire apparatus overturned as he tackled a large forest fire that continues to rage out of control on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, so far scorching 5.8 square miles) of trees and countryside.
Firefighter Andreas Sophocleous succumbed to injuries and two other firefighters who were in the apparatus were seriously hurt. Another Firefighter remains in critical but stable condition after suffering head injuries when his vehicle overturned in a gully in an earlier accident, while his colleague sustained a broken arm.
A total of 16 aircraft, including four planes and helicopters from Greece, UK, France, Italy and three fixed-wing aircraft from Israel, are helping fight the blaze— the most ever employed on a fire in Cyprus, according to Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos. The aircraft have been grounded for Monday night and are expected to resume flights at dawn.
66 firefighting vehicles and more than 300 people from the island’s fire service and forestry department, as well as dozens of volunteers, have been mobilized to fight the blaze that has covered the area with thick plumes of smoke.
Our condolences to all those affected. R.I.P.