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In this image taken from video, Nikos Stavrinidis gives a dramatic account of how he escaped from Greek forest fire, in Mati, near Athens, Tuesday July 24, 2018.

Residents were urged to abandon their homes as the ferocious fire closed one of Greece's busiest motorways, shut train services and sent plumes of smoke over the capital.

One Belgian was among the victims, said Belgium's foreign minister Didier Reynders, while in Warsaw Poland's government said a Polish woman and her son also died.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had a telephone conversation with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday, during which Juncker expressed EU's solidarity with Greece and willingness to provide any means to assist in addressing the crisis, Tzanakopoulos added.

Greece has sought global assistance to cope with the fires near the capital, which have destroyed dozens of homes, burned cars and prompted tourists and Greeks to flee to beaches east of Athens for dramatic rescues by boats. In total, coastguard and other vessels rescued 696 people who had fled to beaches.

It broke out in Mati late Monday afternoon and was still burning in some areas on Tuesday morning. The remaining survivors were picked up by a fishing boat with an Egyptian crew who jumped into the water to rescue them.

Ms Malliri said that strong winds have fanned the flames, with the fires spreading rapidly into inhabited areas, preventing people who are in their homes or in their cars from managing to flee.

At least 50 people found dead and 'eight tourists missing' as apocalyptic wildfires trigger state of emergency in Greece
What to Know About the Deadly Wildfires in Greece That Are Forcing Residents to Flee Into the Sea

Almost 50 people have died in wildfires burning in the Attica region around Athens, in Greece's worst fire crisis in more than a decade.

The country is awaiting 60 firefighters from Cyprus and two water-bombing planes from Spain, the fire department's spokeswoman said.

Fire officials say at least six people have suffered burns in a forest fire near Athens. It saved my life. They are ow being searched from the sea and from the air. "I soaked it, grabbed my wife and we ran to the sea". The other ones that did not know how to swim, we do not know if they are there, if they are alive and what happened. "It's just that we can't find her". "We are dealing with something completely asymmetrical", Tsipras said. "The wind changed and it came at us with such force that it razed the coastal area in minutes".

To cope, Greece sought global help through the European Union.

Greece's fire brigade said the intensity and spread of the wildfire at Mati had slowed on Tuesday as winds died down, but it was still not fully under control. At least three aircraft and a helicopter were battling the flames, along with at least 50 firefighters. Israel, Turkey and Bulgaria have also offered assistance.

Rain is forecast for the coming days, which will help efforts to douse the flames after temperatures topped 40 degrees Celsius on Monday.

The fire was by far Greece's worst since flames devastated the southern Peloponnese peninsula in August 2007, killing dozens.

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