Greece’s armed forces have declared three days of national mourning after five members of a military rescue team were killed in a road accident in flood-hit Libya.
The bodies of the five – three military officials and two civilians – were flown back to a military base near Athens early Monday, along with 13 injured members of the team who were taken to military hospitals in the Greek capital.
A bus carrying the Greek team crashed on Sunday en route to the city of Derna, which has suffered catastrophic flood damage. The bus hit a moving car, also killing three Libyan passengers, according to Libyan officials.
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“We are all shocked by the deaths of rescuers who participated in a humanitarian mission to show solidarity with the suffering Libyan people,” said Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. “I am deeply saddened by their unexpected passing.”
Heavy rains from Mediterranean storm Daniel caused massive flooding in eastern Libya a week ago. It overwhelmed the two dams, sending a wall of water into the coastal city of Derna, killing at least 11,000 people. More than 10,000 people are missing and presumed dead. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed as floodwaters swept bridges, cars and people into the sea.
Before crossing the Mediterranean, the storm caused widespread damage in central Greece, where many areas remain flooded.