Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on Tuesday asked the head of Greece’s armed forces to determine what caused a mortar tube explosion at a military firing range near Volos in central Greece, which killed three soldiers and left a fourth seriously injured.
The blast occurred at around 1.30 p.m. when an 81-millimeter mortar shell exploded in the barrel. Two professional soldiers, 33-year-old Giorgos Orfanidis and 34-year-old Anastasios Mezalas, were killed instantly along with 19-year-old Fotios Andrikopoulos, who was doing his military service. A fourth soldier, aged 30 and identified only as K.V., sustained stomach injuries and was transferred to a Volos hospital where doctors said his injuries were serious but not life-threatening.
Avramapoulos announced three days of mourning in the armed forces and said he would announce the results of an investigation into the circumstances of the blast as soon as they are available.