Three independent investigations are being carried out into the circumstances surrounding the Troodos fire engine incident that resulted in the death of two fire-fighters battling the devastating Solea forest fire.
The Labour Inspection Department, police and Forestry Department are all carrying out their own investigations into the accident that saw Marios Aristotelous and Andreas Sophocleous lose their lives when the fire engine they were travelling in overturned into a ravine. A third person, Giorgos Siambtanis, was also travelling in the truck and is still undergoing treatment for his injuries at Nicosia General Hospital.
Speaking to reporters from his hospital bed, Siambtanis recently revealed the tragic details of the incident. Siambtanis said that Sophocleous had been driving the vehicle while he and Sophocleous were passengers. He said that, as the truck began to overturn, Sophocleous had grabbed him and shouted ‘Giorgos, we are going to die!”.
Siambtanis said that he prayed to God for help as the truck, seconds later, began to fall down the mountainside.
Siambtanis said that when he came to, he called out to Sophocleous using his nickname, ‘Poulare’ but received no response. He added that he could hear Aristotelous calling for help: “I couldn’t help them. They were two good men who were sacrificed for their country”.
In a separate incident, a 56-year-old Forestry Department official remains in critical condition in hospital after the tracked vehicle he had been driving also went over a cliff as he was trying to put out the fire.