Greece is in search of solutions after a deadly practice crash

A station chief, on responsibility throughout a practice accident in Greece, is about to testify Thursday within the central metropolis of Larissa concerning the catastrophe that claimed dozens of lives and plunged the nation into mourning.

The 59-year-old will seem earlier than the Public Prosecutor to clarify how a passenger practice with greater than 350 folks on board was allowed to run on the identical line as a freight practice for a number of kilometers, as the 2 trains collided close to a tunnel exterior Larisa simply earlier than midnight. Tuesday. Two carriages had been destroyed and a 3rd caught hearth, trapping folks inside.

“It was a scholar practice, full of youngsters…of their twenties. It was actually surprising…the wagons are falling aside like paper,” Kostas Pargiotas, chief orthopedist at Larissa Basic Hospital, advised Sky TV. He mentioned.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – who will search re-election this 12 months with a vote anticipated in April – mentioned the accident was a “horrific practice accident with out precedent” in Greece, and promised a “full” investigation into the tragedy.

“Every thing reveals that the drama was sadly on account of tragic human error,” Mitsotakis mentioned in a televised handle on Wednesday after visiting the catastrophe website. Authorities declared three days of nationwide mourning. Scenes of terror and mayhem, dodging shattered glass and particles because the practice rolls over, and having to interrupt home windows to climb out.

“It was a nightmare… this measurement earlier than. Many our bodies had been charred past recognition and a number of the passengers had been recognized by physique components,” passenger Angelos, 22, advised AFP.

“Sadly, a few of these folks will solely be recognized” through DNA, Mayor Larissa Apostolos Kalogiannis advised Sky TV. .

A number of individuals are nonetheless believed lacking – together with two Cypriot nationals – though authorities haven’t launched an official estimate, and police mentioned 17 organic samples had been collected from the stays and from 23 family members they’re in search of to match.

“It was a practice of terror,” Pavlos Aslanidis, whose son was among the many lacking together with a buddy, advised reporters. Rescue needed to name off the search late Wednesday to present exhausted crews and crane operators a respite. The Greek Minister of Transport submitted his resignation hours after the accident.

“When one thing so tragic occurs, we can’t proceed as if nothing occurred,” Kostas Karamanlis mentioned in a public assertion. However practice unionists mentioned security shortcomings on the Athens-Thessaloniki railway have been identified for years. In an open letter final month, practice staff mentioned the observe’s security methods are incomplete and poorly maintained.

The protection supervisor resigned final 12 months, warning that infrastructure updates pending since 2016 had been incomplete and that practice speeds of as much as 200km (124mph) had been unsafe.

5 years after Greek rail operator Trainose was bought to Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane and have become Hellenic Practice, security methods on the Athens-Thessaloniki line are nonetheless not absolutely automated. Protests happened on Wednesday night at Thessaloniki practice station within the metropolis of Larissa and out of doors the Athens places of work of the Italian-owned Hellenic Railway, with demonstrators throwing stones on the constructing and on the police.

In Larissa, protesters held a silent vigil and introduced white roses to type the phrase Tempe, the title of the valley the place the incident occurred. The catastrophe was solely a matter of time, Nikos Savva, a medical scholar from Cyprus, advised AFP, noting that “the railway community appeared problematic, with rickety workers and low wages.”

The station’s operator will likely be charged with negligent murder on Thursday and face a life sentence if convicted, however Savva mentioned the person “should not should pay for a very sick system.” “That is an unacceptable incident. We’ve identified this case for 30 years,” mentioned Pargiotas, Larissa’s physician.


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