THEIR bodies were found clinging to one another. Some 26 men, women and children made it almost as far at the gated staircase leading down to the Greek coastline and the safety of water. In the end, they simply couldn’t see it.
Greek authorities say they have found a desperate huddle of bodies just a few steps away from the path to safety. But the onrushing wall of smoke and flame at first blinded them, then choked them.
Their charred bodies, burnt-out cars, a few molten belongings — and the fire-blasted pine trees around them — are all that remains.
The charred bodies of the 26 people, including small children, were discovered at a villa at the seaside resort of Mati, 40 kilometres northeast of Athens, said rescuer Vassilis Andriopoulos.
They were huddled together in small groups, “perhaps families, friends or strangers, entwined in a last attempt to protect themselves as they tried to reach the sea”, he said.