Iranian migrants save Greek firemen after crash in Lesbos

A dinghy carrying Iranian, Afghan, and Syrian migrants arrives on the Greek island of Lesbos on August 20.
A dinghy carrying Iranian, Afghan, and Syrian migrants arrives on the Greek island of Lesbos on August 20.PHOTO: AFP

ATHENS (AFP) - Four Iranian migrants rushed to the aid of two Greek firemen after their engine crashed down a ravine on the island of Lesbos, Athens News Agency reported Sunday.

The migrants had been making the roughly 50-kilometre walk from Sikamnia, where their dinghy had been put ashore, to the capital of Mytilene on Saturday when they saw the engine fall into the ravine. They quickly clambered down the five-metre precipice, and tried to pull the firemen from the wreck.

The migrants called for help and stayed with the firemen until they had been freed and transferred to hospital.

Lesbos is one of several Greek islands struggling with an influx of thousands of migrants, many of them Syrian refugees, setting sail from the nearby Turkish coast.

Many are stuck on the island for days or even weeks as without their papers the migrants are unable to catch a ferry to the Greek mainland and travel on to other destinations in Europe.

In Mytilene, where most of the migrants gather hoping to catch a boat off the island, they sleep in the open without toilets or showers.

There have been repeated clashes as riot police struggled to control huge crowds pressing forward to get on board ferries.

Police said Thursday that some 22,500 refugees and migrants had been registered by officials in Lesbos since Monday evening.