New grandad crushed to death after church dome collapses during earthquake

A new grandad tragically lost his life following the collapse of a church dome during the huge earthquake on the Greek island of Crete yesterday.

As reported by Protothema, Iakovos Tsagarakis has been named as the first fatality in the aftermath of the tremors.

The 65-year-old dad of two was working as a builder on the church of the Prophet Elias in Arkalochori when the quake caused the dome to collapse.

Tsagarakis was one of three builders, which also included his son, trapped under the rubble.

His son suffered broken bones but survived after being pulled from the rubble with the other builder.

As reported by The Sun, The mayor of Viannos, Minas Stavrakakis, said: "Unfortunately, my dear friend and classmate died tragically this morning in the church of Prophet Elias.

"At the time of the earthquake, he was working with his son in the church when the dome fell.

"His son is in shock because he was with his father. The victim was the father of two children and had recently become a grandfather."

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Crete was hit by a quake of 6.0 magnitude and is said to have felt tremors for over a two-hour period, according to The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

They originally estimated it at a 6.2 but later revised the magnitude.

The island is used to experiencing quakes and felt activity increase over the last few months but this was said to be much worse with aftershocks felt throughout the day.

According to the municipal community president Chrisoula Gkegkeroglou, the village of Arkalochori was one of the worst hit with 80% of all houses damaged.

The quake caused damage to both homes and businesses on the island with hotels having to be evacuated for a period of time.

Brit tourist Shaun Reynolds from Whitchurch in Shropshire, was staying at the Atlantica Caldera Palace Resort in Hersonissos when he was evacuated for two hours following the quake.

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He said: "The whole place shook the worst one they have ever had the locals said.

"The buildings over here are structurally made for them so at the minute from what I can see there isn’t that much damage, few bits of glass and cracked walls but everything else seems fine."

Speaking yesterday, one user on Twitter said: "Let's just say I got scared to death! A big one that lasted for quite sometime. We are ok here in Rethymno (city in Crete) tho."

While another said: "Nothing quite like being woken up by an actual earthquake! Whole room shaking from side to side."

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