Alleged Arson: Greek Authorities Detain Crew of Pleasure Boat Carrying Kazakh Tourists

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The Greek authorities are investigating a forest fire on Hydra Island that was allegedly caused by fireworks that were launched from a luxury boat carrying tourists from Kazakhstan.

The captain and 12 crewmembers of the vessel Persephone face arson charges in connection with the fire that broke out on Friday night, Greek media has reported. Citing Greek police, Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry said no Kazakh citizens have been detained “and no claims were made against them either,” according to the official Kazinform News Agency.

The Persephone headed in bad weather to a marina after the fire broke out Friday and the 17 Kazakh passengers left Greece from the international airport in Athens on Saturday morning, reported Proto Thema, a Greek newspaper.

“The fire of Hydra endangered the island, burned 300 acres and our firefighters made superhuman efforts to contain it. The case is before the Piraeus Public Prosecutor’s Office and it remains to be proven what exactly happened,” said Vassilis Kikilias, Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection in Greece.

The fire occurred in a pine forest in a remote area of Hydra, a popular tourist island. Residents expressed anger about the incident, which is among a number of wildfires that Greece has been battling amid high temperatures.