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Greek PM: ‘Doubly painful’ to mourn rescuers who died while saving lives

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday it was “doubly painful to mourn lives that were lost while saving lives” of others, after five members of a Greek rescue team sent to Libya to assist in the international rescuing efforts died in a road accident on Sunday.

“In a tragic accident we mourn, unfortunately, five members of the Greek mission. It is a tragedy that happened while they were performing the noble duty of humanitarianism and international solidarity,” he said.

“The whole country mourns. My thoughts are with the families of the victims and our 10 injured. The state will stand by their side.”

The Greek rescue team was en route to the flood-ravaged city of Derna, having landed in Benghazi, when a head-on collision with another vehicle happened. Three Libyans in the oncoming vehicle were also killed.

The bodies of the dead, two of which have not been identified, were being transported by a C-27 which is expected to land in Elefsina’s military base.

The injured, who arrived separately in a C-130, landed at Elefsina airport on Monday morning and were taken to the hospitals of Athens by ambulances from the 115th Combat Wing.