- Advertisement -

In his assessment that the timely evacuation of the settlement I will proved lifesaving for dozens of people who were left defenseless in the destructive course of the fire in Mati, he repeated on the sixth day of his testimony the judicial expert Dimitris Liotsios.

The fire marshal, who answers questions from the victims’ advocates, said that the recommendation for evacuation should have been given from 5:30 p.m. on the fateful afternoon and emphasized that the fire reached Mati at 6:20 p.m. As he said:The passageways to the sea are at least 25. From Marathon Avenue to the sea, it is 850 meters. Only difficult part is in Kokkino Limanaki. Throughout the rest of the area, all roads lead to the sea. The distance for an average person to the sea is about 20 minutes. People left voluntarily in their vehicles. At 18:00 with the information of the mayor (that they are not in danger) the people were reassured. People had not been informed that the fire was heading towards the area.”

- Advertisement -

Cheating on questions the witness came back on the subject of aviation stating that it does not appear that firefighting helicopters could not make drops that day.

“It doesn’t appear that they had a problem. Apart from the Ericsson, the rest of the helicopters are difficult to operate in populated areas” he emphasized.

The prosecutor also pointed out that “We had information that the fire was heading to houses, we had information that it was heading to Neo Voutza. There was information that there were only nine fire engines and those at the start of the fire. We had a smoke direction update. The order had to be given. Man is not burned by fire, he is first poisoned by smoke and then burned.”

Another possibility that was not used in the rescue phase was mentioned by the expert saying that “helicopters of the Greek police, which also have thermal cameras, could help in locating people at sea and in the rescue process.”

Responding to a lawyer’s question about whether he still fears for his career or even his life after the threats and pressures he received, Mr. Liotsios said “Of course I’m afraid, I’ve been threatened about it. But this does not affect my judgment and my testimony.”

According to the witness, if indeed the then commander of the Fire Brigade’s Aerial Vehicles Service left his post when the fire reached Mati “it’s criminal.”

Witness: He may not have known that the fire was coming down from Neo Voutza.

Lawyer: He has been informed by ESKE, a helicopter was requested. How is it possible that he is missing and a helicopter has been requested for him?

Witness: Since he is a commander he must know. The command for the helicopter is transmitted to the air traffic controller.

The judicial expert received a question regarding the claim that these areas did not have a proper zoning and emphasized that “Regarding the urban planning issue: In the forest plan of the fire brigade, the specific areas (Nea Makri, Mati) are not mentioned as arbitrary” while adding that “there were some parts, steep and winding, in Kokkino Limanaki and towards Zemberi, they were some problematic areas. That doesn’t mean anything. The fire department knows and moves accordingly.”

According to the opinion of the lawyer of Mrs. Varvara Fitrou, who lost her husband and two children in the fire, from the answers of the expert “the felony offense of exposure to danger of life was proved by the object.”