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Accidents in houses without electricity

05 December 2013 / 13:12:09  GRReporter
2606 reads

Last night a family escaped at the last moment from a fire that broke out in their house. The fire started in a house in the Kordelio neighbourhood in Thessaloniki at around 4:15 am.

The house was occupied by an elderly couple, their son and his child who were able to get out of the burning building in time but the grandmother and the 5-year-old child were hospitalized due to breathing problems.

So far, the authorities have not established the cause of the fire. They have found heating appliances inside the house and the fire service is investigating the probability of burning candles causing the fire as the power supply to the house in question had been cut off two years ago.

According to Kordelio’s mayor Stathis Lafazanidis, about 700 families in the municipality are living without electricity.

A few days ago, a 13-year-old girl died from poisonous gases at her house when her mother was using a charcoal-pan for heating purposes. In the cold Saturday night the woman, originating from Serbia, had lit the coals in a small barbecue to warm the house where she lived with her ​​child. According to her, the two spent the night as usual. The accident however happened on the following day as the coals continued to burn slowly, emitting the harmful gases inside the small room.

According to the mother’s relatives, she felt sick around 8:30 pm on Sunday and went to the bathroom where she fainted. She recovered about two hours later and found 13-year-old Sarah dead.

The power supply to a small flat in the Xirokrini neighbourhood in Thessaloniki was also cut off three months ago because its former tenant, also of Serbian origin, had not paid the bills. Little Sarah had no father to help her, as he had died after the breakup with the mother who had no job for a long time.

Immediately after the accident, the 54-year-old mother fainted and was transported to hospital to undergo medical examination. She was then arrested and detained for several hours at the police station, where she was charged with manslaughter. According to lawyers, the procedure is purely legal as it is expected that the charge will be withdrawn and she will never be under trial for it.

The investigation has established that the woman is not residing in Greece legally as the regional government in Thessaloniki had rejected in 2010 her application for a temporary residence permit. She stated before the authorities that she was not aware of the refusal because in the meantime she had moved to another address.

The prosecutor’s office had issued a warrant for her extradition but two days later Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection Nikos Dendias had ordered a 6-month extension of her residence permit.

The new accident has provoked a reaction on the part of the government, which has decided to take steps to protect those households without electricity. Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yiannis Maniatis has stated that the municipalities must immediately inform the Public Power Corporation DEI of the families that are actually unable to pay their electricity bills and the company, in turn, will immediately restore their power supply.

DEI yesterday urged people who are unable to pay their electricity bills due to shortage of money to turn to the company and asked the organizations taking care of vulnerable groups to inform the local offices of DEI about such households.

Tags: SocietyFireCut power supplyCandlesCharcoal-panGas poisoning
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