West News Wire: Authorities reported that two people were killed when a helicopter that was fighting a forest fire on the Greek island of Samos crashed into the water on Wednesday.
Two Moldovan nationals survived the crash, but a Romanian national and a Greek liaison officer perished, a Coast Guard spokeswoman told the Associated Press.
At 4:39 p.m., Samos launched the Soviet-era Mi-8 helicopter that Ukraine had leased for firefighting operations. At 5:55 p.m., the helicopter crashed off the island.
The spokeswoman said that nine vessels, including a helicopter and two private, two army, and five Coast Guard vessels, participated in the rescue effort.
All the island’s 27 firefighters plus four planes and a helicopter were fighting the blaze in a forested area on Samos, which lies close to the Turkish coast. The flames were being fanned by high winds, the Fire Service said.