Libya accident kills 4 Greek aid team members: ministry

Libya accident kills 4 Greek aid team members: ministry
A member of the Algerian Rescue Team reacts as he assists in relief work in Libya's eastern port city of Derna/ AFP


Four members of a Greek humanitarian aid team, sent to Libya after the devastating floods that hit Derna, were killed in a road accident on Sunday, a Libyan minister said.

Othman Abdeljalil, health minister in the administration that runs the east of the country, told reporters the accident occurred when the team was en route from Benghazi to Derna, 300 kilometres (185 miles) to the east.

The Libyan health minister said the accident took place when the vehicle collided with a car carrying a Libyan family. Three people in the car died and two were seriously injured, he said.

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

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

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

It announced that three members of the Greek humanitarian mission in Libya have died and two were missing.

Initially the Greek authorities, in a statement, had spoken only of "minor injuries" among the team members.

The Greek army statement said an operation to collect their personnel in Benghazi and repatriate them was underway.

Greece sent, on Sunday morning, humanitarian aid to the areas of Libya struck by the lethal floods of "Storm Daniel", actively demonstrating Greek solidarity with the Libyan people, the foreign ministry said.

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

At the order of Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis, the aid was accompanied by the Greek General Consul in Benghazi, Ambassador Stavros Venizelos, so that he might provide diplomatic assistance to the operation.