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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Helios orphan makes desperate plea

The state has promised to look into a desperate request for help made by a man who lost his entire family in the Helios plane crash 11 years ago.

In an open letter to President Nicos Anastasiades, Andreas Evripidou, who was 19 and performing his National Guard service when his family’s holiday ended in tragedy, says he has nowhere else to turn.

“You may not know me because I have been hiding for almost 11 torturous, with every meaning of the word, years and, in past years in particular, I have been living in deep depression and misery,” Evripidou said.

Η ταχύτητα σκοτώνει

Evripidou said that as well as the psychological struggles created by having his parents and two little sisters lost in an instant, he was now also suffering financially and had many times been left without electricity, water and even enough to eat.

As the sole survivor of his family, Evripidou said that now, at the age of 30, he wanted to be able to get married and create a family of his own “which I believe will be the best cure for me”.

Evripidou said he was not only unable to afford married life but was now also in danger of losing everything he has left: “I am really struggling to survive in an overly-cruel world and a state that does not care”.

“You were at the funeral Mr. President and I will never forget what you said to me then: ‘Andreas you are strong, stand on your own two feet’.  But, Mr. President, my legs are starting to give way,” Evripidou added.

Responding on Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary and chairman of the government-appointed committee responsible to oversee the welafre of those left behind by the Helios, Mari and other tragedies, Theodosis Tsiolas said the matter was being looked into.

Noting assistance had in the past been given to the relatives of those killed, Tsiolas said he had got in touch with Evripidou to brief him on the state’s efforts to provide help now.

Helios Airways Flight 522 was a scheduled Helios Airways passenger flight that crashed into a mountain on August 14, 2005, north of Marathon and Varnavas, Greece. It had been flying from Larnaca to Athens. All 115 passengers, including families with children, and six crew members on board the aircraft were killed.

With 121 fatalities, this was the deadliest aviation accident in Cypriot, and Greek, history.

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