Crew arrested after yacht fireworks spark Greece blaze

Thirteen people have been arrested following a forest fire on the Greek island of Hydra, that authorities allege was sparked by fireworks launched from a superyacht.

Friday’s blaze burnt through 300 acres of the only pine forest on the renowned tourist island, which lies south of Athens, Greece’s Climate Crisis Minister Vassilis Kikilias said.

The flames were brought under control, but with difficulty. As there are no roads to the beach, firefighters had to access it by sea, while helicopters dropped water from the air.

Greek media reported that all those arrested are crew members of the superyacht, Persephoni. It is available for summer charter from €249,000 per week (£211,200; $269,300), according to several luxury yacht dealers online.

The public prosecutor has asked for the vessel to be confiscated, Mr Kikilias was quoted as saying.

Several local media outlets, citing court documents, reported that the visitors on the yacht were 17 Kazakhstan nationals who have since left Greece, however the BBC has been unable to independently verify this.

On Sunday morning, the crew were filmed walking into the Piraeus Prosecutor’s Office, wearing matching work uniforms and covering their faces with sunglasses, masks and hats.

There is contention between Greece’s coast guard, and the fire department.

Local media is reporting that while fire officials are relying on the statement of a captain of a nearby vessel, who allegedly saw flares or fireworks being launched from Persephoni – the coast guard says there is no evidence of this.



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