Four Greek aid team members killed in Libya car accident

The Greek army is to collect the 15 remaining personnel in Benghazi, who were injured, and take them home

Rescue teams assist in relief work in Libya's eastern city of Derna on September 17. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Four members of a Greek humanitarian aid team supporting the flood operation in Libya were killed in a road accident on Sunday, which also claimed the lives of three people from a Libyan family, a minister said.

The accident occurred when the team was on its way from Benghazi to Derna, 300km to the east, Othman Abdeljalil, Health Minister in the administration that runs the east of the country, told reporters.

Their vehicle collided with a car carrying a Libyan family, Mr Abdeljalil said.

He said that three people in the car died and two were seriously injured.

"The Greek aid team was made up of 19 members. Four of them died and the other 15 were injured," Mr Abdeljalil said in Derna.

"Eight are in a stable condition and the other seven are critical."

Greek General Staff of National Defence in a statement late on Sunday confirmed the accident but gave a different death toll.

It said three members of the Greek mission died and two were missing.

Libya floods latest - in pictures

Initially the Greek authorities had spoken only of "minor injuries" among the team members.

The Greek army statement said an operation to collect the personnel in Benghazi and repatriate them was under way.

On Sunday morning, Greece sent humanitarian aid to the areas of Libya struck by the lethal floods from Storm Daniel, showing Greek solidarity with the Libyan people, the Foreign Ministry said.

The aid was in the form of medical and nursing staff who had already arrived in a Hellenic Air Force C-130 plane sent to Benghazi, and medical supplies and food.

At the order of Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis, the aid was accompanied by the Greek general consul in Benghazi, Stavros Venizelos, so that he might provide diplomatic assistance.

Updated: September 18, 2023, 11:34 AM