A burned compound is seen next to the sea in Mati, east of Athens, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Rescue crews were searching Wednesday through charred homes and cars for those still missing after the deadliest wildfires to hit Greece in decades decimated seaside areas near Athens, killing at least 79 people and sending thousands fleeing. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

The Latest: Belgium confirms Belgian tourist died in fire

July 26, 2018 - 7:22 am

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Latest on Greece's forest fires (all times local):

A spokesman for the Belgian foreign ministry says a Belgian tourist was killed in Greece's ferocious wildfires as he tried to flee blazes in the summer resort of Mati north of Athens.

The spokesman, who spoke to the Associated Press Thursday on customary condition of anonymity, said the tourist was among a larger group staying at an area hotel that was ordered evacuated to the nearby sea as the flames approached.

But he said the exact circumstances under which the Belgian man died during Monday's blaze are unclear.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders had confirmed the man's death in post on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday. Reynders said that the Belgian embassy in Athens is assisting the man's "young son and family."

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10:50 a.m.

Frantic relatives searching for loved ones missing in Greece's deadliest forest fire in decades are heading to Athens' morgue, as rescue crews and volunteers continued searches on land and at sea for potential further victims.

Those arriving at the morgue Thursday were being informed of the necessary steps to match the missing and the dead, including providing DNA samples and dental records.

The fire northeast of Athens in the area of Rafina, a seaside resort of permanent residences and holiday homes popular with Athenians and tourists, broke out Monday and swept through the area fanned by gale-force winds. Hundreds fled to nearby beaches, with many swimming out to sea to escape the ferocious flames and choking smoke that killed 81 people.

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