Panic and incompetence by police officers and local authorities in Greece a little over a week ago contributed to the carnage caused by wildfires that claimed at least 91 lives, according to an expert.
Professor Vassilis Digalakis, from the Technical University of Crete, said many mistakes were made, including by police, who unwittingly diverted drivers into danger areas.
"Obviously, they had to stop the traffic on Marathon Avenue, as the cars would have run into the fire," the BBC quoted him as saying. "But, instead of blocking the traffic and ordering the drivers to make a U-turn, they allowed them to seek alternative routes－and the only routes were through Mati."
Mati is the coastal town that was devastated by the wildfires.
Another study, conducted by researchers at the University of Athens, found residents in the hardest hit area were not alerted to the approaching danger, meaning they had no chance to flee.
It found those who did get out found out what was happening by word of mouth.
Researchers said efforts to evacuate other areas were disorganized and added to the congestion and panic.
The Greek government has blamed the fire on arsonists and says escape routes were blocked by illegally constructed buildings. ABC News reported on Thursday that the government now plans to tear down thousands of similar illegal buildings in other areas.
The University of Athens study said deficiencies in the way the town was planned meant many people were trapped needlessly. They criticized narrow streets, dead ends, and too few open spaces.
In the wake of all the criticism, the Guardian newspaper has reported that the relatives of one couple who died in the fire have become the first to launch legal action against the police, fire departments, and regional political leaders.
And Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the leader of the opposition in Greece, has called on people responsible for mistakes to resign.
"I really wonder how some people ... can sleep today, and carry on happily exercising their duties," he was widely reported as saying earlier this week, in comments believed to be directed at Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Tsipras' office has responded by saying Mitsotakis was trying to take advantage of the tragedy.
The fire, which broke out on July 23, traveled fast, fanned by strong westerly winds, and destroyed dozens of homes and 305 cars in addition to the loss of life.