updated 5/27/2007 6:21:39 PM ET 2007-05-27T22:21:39

A flash flood swept away a group of hikers alongside a mountain river in southern Greece, killing at least six people, police said Sunday.

The dead were identified as four women and two men, all Greek nationals aged 23-36.

More than 150 firefighters and volunteers, assisted by helicopters and divers, searched the banks of the Lousios River in the western Peloponnese for two others who remained missing.

Police said the incident occurred late Saturday as a group of 18 Greek hikers, including two guides, were walking beside the river near the village of Dimitsana, about 110 miles southwest of Athens.

A flash flood, caused by heavy rains upstream, caught the group as they were trying to cross the river and carried eight people away, officials said.

"They were probably caught unaware," Deputy Fire Brigade Chief Fotis Papas said. "We are now focusing our efforts on locating one man and one woman who are still missing."

The group was on an organized three-day hiking trip in the picturesque Lousios valley, a popular adventure holiday destination.

Police detained two representatives of the tour company for questioning.

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