A collision between a passenger train and a freight train in Greece has left 38 dead and dozens injured

A collision between a passenger train and a freight train in Greece has left 38 dead and dozens injured

The crash of a passenger train with a cargo in Greece has 38 victims; and dozens of wounded

Train collision near the Greek city of Larisa, March 1, 2023.

Athens – At least 38 people were killed and more than seven dozen injured when a passenger train with 350 people on board and a freight train collided late on Tuesday evening near the Greek city of Larisa. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it had no information that Czech citizens were among the victims or injured. It is the most tragic railway accident in Greece in several decades. The Greek government has declared three days of national mourning starting today. President Katerina Sakellaropoulos and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the site of the accident, who stated that the accident was caused by “tragic human error”. The head of the station in Larisa has already admitted to the mistake, local media inform.

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Crash of a passenger train with

The collision of a passenger train with a truck in Greece leaves 38 dead and dozens injured

Crash of passenger train with cargo in Greece ; 38 victims and dozens of wounded


The accident happened near the city of Larisa in the central part of the country, where shortly before midnight CET, a passenger train heading from Athens to Thessaloniki collided at high speed with a freight train traveling from Thessaloniki to Larisa. Several wagons derailed and at least three caught fire. The impact was so strong that some passengers flew out the windows, survivors told local media. Among the passengers were many students returning from carnival celebrations.

“Everything points to tragic human error causing this accident,” Mitsotakis said in a statement this evening. At the scene of the accident, the Prime Minister promised help to the injured and survivors, as well as a thorough investigation of the accident. “Justice will do its job. People will be held accountable and the state will be on the side of the people,” Mitsotakis said.

During the day, the toll gradually increased, and in the early evening it stabilized at 36. At the evening press conference, the firemen announced two more deaths, bringing the number of victims to 38. According to some Greek media, which refer to the statement of the chief medical examiner, 43 have already been examined bodies. According to her, these are mainly young people aged 20 to 30. According to the firefighters, 15 people were released from the 72 hospitalized in the evening and six remain in a serious condition in intensive care units.

“In one of the wagons, the fire had a particularly high temperature, 1,300 degrees Celsius,” said a spokesman for the fire department, adding that the fire made it difficult to identify the victims. According to rescuers, many of the dead will need to be identified through DNA tests. The search for possible survivors will continue into the night, currently involving 72 firefighters along with five teams specialized in disaster management.

In response to the accident, Greek Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis announced his resignation today, who said he was resigning to show respect for the memory of the victims, adding that he took full responsibility for the mistakes of the Greek state.

There were 342 passengers and ten crew members in the passenger train, and two people in the freight train. Hellenic Train, the operator of both trains, canceled all services from 12:00 local time today. Hellenic Train is the largest railway operator in Greece and since 2017 is owned by the Italian national carrier Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. The police interviewed several people and eventually arrested the 59-year-old station master in Larisa, whom they suspect of negligence that caused the trains to run against each other on the same track. The man initially denied guilt, but later admitted to his mistake. ERT television previously quoted the head of the train drivers' association, according to which the electronic system to warn of danger does not work on the track. “Nothing works, everything is done manually. We are in 'manual mode' on the Athens-Thessalonica line,” he said. The Reuters agency also wrote that the Greek railway system needs modernization, many connections run on a single-track track and many places still do not have automatic signaling and control systems.

“We heard a huge bang. It was a terrible ten seconds. We were rolling over in the carriage until we fell on our side,” described 28-year-old passenger Sterjos Minenis. Panic and chaos broke out at once. “Fire, dangling cables, broken windows, people screaming, people trapped,” said Minenis.

According to the fire department spokesman, the evacuation of passengers took place in very difficult conditions, the carriages derailed on a slight incline and several burning carriages were in place very high temperature. Skai broadcast the footagederailed and badly damaged wagons. Rescuers with flashlights on their foreheads pulled pieces of metal from the cars in the thick smoke and searched for trapped people, AP reported. 150 firefighters and about 40 ambulances responded to the scene.

Health Minister Thanos Plevris visited the injured in hospitals, and Alexis Tsipras from the left-wing group SYRIZA and head of the opposition PASOK party Nikos Andrulakis also visited the scene of the train collision.

Many countries have expressed their condolences to Greece, including Turkey, Portugal, Britain, Austria, Italy and Germany. “My thoughts are with the Greek people after this terrible train accident that claimed so many lives last night in Larissa. All of Europe mourns with you. I also wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter. French President Emmanuel Macron made a similar statement. “My thoughts go out to the families of the victims of the terrible accident that happened last night in Larissa. France stands by the Greeks,” Macron wrote on Twitter.< /p>