Libya: Greek rescuers among those killed in road collision
A tragic road accident claimed the lives of at least three members of a Greek rescue team and three members of a Libyan family.
The incident occurred when the rescue team, en route to the flood-stricken city of Derna on Sunday, was involved in a collision with a car carrying the Libyan family.
According to a Libyan official, two other individuals in the car and eight additional passengers on the bus sustained severe injuries as a result of the collision.
The health minister of the administration governing the eastern part of the country, Othman Abdeljalil, announced during a press conference that the accident took place while the team was traveling from the city of Benghazi in the east.
An investigation into the accident has been initiated.
He put the death toll at four but Greece’s armed forces reported three dead and two missing.
Libya is split between two rival governments – a UN-backed administration based in the capital Tripoli, and a rival Egyptian-supported authority based in Benghazi.
The Greek authorities said that a bus carrying medical personnel collided with a vehicle moving in the opposite direction and reported that three members of Greece’s humanitarian mission had died and two were missing.
They added that it was unclear what exactly had happened and that it was looking into the incident in cooperation with Libya, while an operation was underway to repatriate their personnel.
A diplomatic source has told the Greek news site Kathimerini that 16 members of the team were Greek rescuers and three were interpreters.
They were on their way to join teams already on the ground from other countries including France and Italy.
Thousands of people were killed when two dams above Derna broke during a powerful storm a week ago. The UN says the death toll so far stands at some 11,300.
More than 10,000 more remain officially missing, according to figures from the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.