Lawsuit for the Eye: “Our Margaritoula, she used her body as a shield to save her baby…they both disappeared”


New tragic testimonies from relatives of the victims and burn victims were heard today at the judicial inquiry, breaking the hearts and tightening the stomachs of those present.

“A note thanking her husband and us saying that she will love us forever” and “her burnt sneakers” were the epilogue of the life of their daughter who perished with her baby in the flames.

THE Charalambos Dionysiotis and his wife Maria testified at the trial for the deadly fire in Mati, the tragic story of their daughter Margarita who was found with her baby burnt in the sea. As Mr. Dionysiotis testified, after the frantic search for his daughter, during which he saw images of destruction all around him, he finally found himself on the Argyra Coast where someone shouted to him that his child and grandson were there, in the sea.

“My daughter came out struggling from the mother of a child. The baby was in the arms of a Romanian firefighter, rescuer. The child was unconscious, they massaged him and he was alive. I take my son-in-law’s “keep calm as possible, things are not good at all”. We carried them. It was me, my son-in-law, Margarita, the baby, and the rescuer who massaged him from time to time. With a volunteer fire truck they took the baby along with the rescuer for Children. I have put my girl on a bench to sit. An ambulance shows up and I put her inside. My son-in-law and I went to the Children’s first. The kid was done… The doctors said to me “if he had come ten minutes earlier we would have done something… You are late”. The child died on the steps of the hospital. If there was help from the sea, he could be alive today” the witness testified with emotion and added: “My family has not been alive for four and a half years… It just exists, we are waiting for justice for the people who left and the people who live with open arms wounds in body and soul”.

THE Maria Dionysioti she tearfully spoke to the court about the way her daughter decided to say goodbye to them and her husband, dictating to the rescuers what she wanted to say to her loved ones shortly before she was intubated: “Elpis Hospital was writing the paper. In it she thanked Andreas (her husband) for the happy life he gave her. For her parents, she said that she was proud that we raised her with principles and values ​​and that she will love us forever. They handed it to Andrea along with a pair of burnt sneakers. We engraved this note and have it with our children’s photos. The rescuer told us “I have never met such a strong girl, with burns all over her body, that if this letter had not dictated us, she would not have let us intubate her”.

The witness emphasized that she never managed to see her daughter while she was hospitalized. “They wouldn’t let me see her in the Intensive Care Unit. They told me that her eyes are a little burnt, you will see her tomorrow. The other day, they told me, her hands are a little burnt, you will see her tomorrow. 11 days passed and I never saw Margarita… He died on August 3… Those who left were tortured a lot, they were in pain. They bore witness and we bore witness with them. Our life has changed. It’s nothing the same. Our Margaritoula used her body as a shield to save her baby. My soul has burned until I close my eyes. This is how all of us who have lost our own people feel… No one helped them… Complete indifference to everything. In a short time everything was lost because some people did not take care to protect us… Those who were guilty must be punished to the extent that everyone was guilty”.

The couple had lost their son a few years before the tragedy in Mati.

Crying n Ioanna Karakoukaliswho was not in Mati, told the court about the her mother which was trapped in the fire. “We spoke at 6:30 p.m. He was trapped in an apartment building. He couldn’t breathe. He was telling me that there was fire everywhere and that we should go and get it from there. I called her all the time, all the time. He wasn’t answering me. At one point he answered me and I heard screams, screams… I couldn’t tell if someone was talking to me. I called the police and told them exactly where he was. At 21:06 at night we spoke for the last time, she was alive and well. Before we close it then, he told me he was going to die and that he loved me and never spoke to me again. I couldn’t believe that she was alive until that time, that she was 48 years old trying to stay alive and nobody was trying to help her… Nobody.”

For her husband Nikos Kossora, who was found burned in the Fragos estate, in the place where 26 people died, she testified Polymnia Kossora. “My husband was one of those who had been diverted from Marathon Avenue, having no business there. My son went to the airport and was coming back. He lost his life needlessly, due to the criminal management of the fire by the authorities. If an Authority had done its job, we wouldn’t have had so many victims.”

The witness spoke at length of the efforts they made for days to locate her husband, even searching for him at the bottom, until finally they were informed that he was dead.

THE George Michas testified in court about him His 23-year-old son, Victor. The child’s body washed ashore a week after the fire. The witness, crying, said: “I had no information from anyone. The time had passed. I had lost touch with time. I received a call from an unknown number. It was a lady and she told me that she is a friend of Victor’s mother. I asked about Victor. I heard her agitated. My mind went to absolute evil… I told her that if I don’t find Victor I’m not going back… Then the lady told me that she will come to where I was. They came and found me at the port. I’m sitting on the bench and Victor’s mom comes and sits on my lap and tells me “Victor is leaving”… As soon as she tells me this, I throw her off of me. I couldn’t fathom this. I held my other child who was like the living dead. I couldn’t accept it. After this event my family fell apart. I can’t handle it all. The child was found in the sea alone… Then followed the nightmare of how to find the child. I went and gave dna. Then we waited for the coroner. A week later I heard that the body of a young man washed up in the port of Rafina. I was overwhelmed. I was sure it was my child. He was my child. A week at sea… I couldn’t say goodbye to him. His coffin was sealed, and that’s how we said goodbye.”

Burn victims also testified in court describing images of chaos and suffering, such as the scene described by the witness Dimitra Kastorida where while she and others try to stick together in mid-ocean, an elderly cancer patient urges them to leave him to save themselves.

The trial will continue tomorrow.

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