Greek authorities say at least 20 people have died in forest fires near Athens

Greek authorities say at least 20 people have died as forest fires rage near the capital Athens.Two major forest fires are burning out of control on either side of Greece’s capital, burning houses and prompting residents to flee as the sky over Athens turns a hazy orange from the smoke.Greek Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said at least 69 other people had been hospitalised with serious injuries.

Greece has sought international assistance to cope with the fires, which have destroyed dozens of homes, burned cars and prompted residents and tourists to flee to beaches east of Athens for dramatic rescues by boats.

Greece said Cyprus offered to send firefighters and Spain has offered water-dropping aircraft.Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cut short a visit to Bosnia on Monday and returned to Athens to preside over an emergency response meeting with fire chiefs and government officials.

Source: Greek authorities say at least 20 people have died in forest fires near Athens – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)