New dramatic revelations of the lack of an operational plan and a total lack of coordination during the deadly Attica wildfire emerge every day, exposing the government and the state.
The representative of the nationwide policemen’s trade union, POASY, Yorgos Vahliotis, said that at the start of the fire in Mati, policemen were operating blindly and as they saw fit, as wireless communications devices were not working. They could not approach roads pointed out by residents because their GPS devices were not working.
“We had no information from the operations centre about the direction of the fire, so that we would not be trapped and so that we could help evacuated the entrapped,” Vahliotis told Epsilon television.
“All the forces operating on site were figuring it out for themselves. We went from house to house to see if people were there. At some point, we were encircled by the fire and were saved at the last moment,” said Vahliotis, who was at the scene.
Wireless radios did not work
“When I arrived at the scene at 5:55pm, wireless communications devices were not working. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened,” he said.
There was also a lack of basic equipment. “We did not even have disposable masks. The GPS was not operating in patrol cars and other vehicles,” he said.
Vahliotis said that there was no one from Greek Police, the Fire Service, or the Prefecture to coordinate operations. “We communicated via cell phones and shouting,” he said.
Police had alerted about dead people at 10:15pm
“At about 10pm, after we rescued some people we headed towards Mati. At 10:15 we found seven people dead and we alerted (superiors),” Vahliotis said.
That was over an hour before the PM appeared on television and made no mention of dead victims.