Greek rescue workers are frantically searching for survivors after the worst train accident in Greece since 1972. At least 36 people have died. Four people were arrested.
1 out of 7Photo: Alexandros Avramides/Reuters/NTP
The accident occurred when a passenger train and a freight train collided at high speed on a stretch between Athens and Thessaloniki late Tuesday evening.
The fire service said at least 36 people were confirmed dead Wednesday morning, with at least 85 injured.
There were about 350 passengers on board. Many of them were students on their way back to Thessaloniki after a long weekend, says Tempe Mayor Giorgos Manolis.
At least three train cars caught fire and two were destroyed in the collision. Several of the dead were said to have been found in the restaurant car, which was at the front of the train.
Search using lanterns
Rescue work during the night is described as very difficult. It’s made easy with lanterns for survivors who can be stuck in a train wreck. It was also easy under the train and in the field next to the train track. Eventually, crane trucks were brought in to lift the damaged wagons off the track.
– I’ve never seen anything like this in my whole life. It’s tragic. Several hours later, we are still finding the bodies, says an exhausted rescue worker.
The injured were shifted to two different hospitals. Larisa Hospital has received more than 50 patients, 25 of whom are seriously injured, according to hospital staff.
Eyewitnesses say that many people got rid of windows that were shattered in the strong impact, while others were trapped. A carriage caught fire before the passengers could exit.
– The first and second chariots are no longer there, and the third is derailed, says Costas Agorastos, governor of the region of Thessaly.
– This is a terrible night. He adds that it is difficult to describe.
Loud brake noise
One of the teenagers who survived the accident says he heard a loud screeching of brakes and saw sparks before the train came to an abrupt stop. He was in the fourth carriage.
– Our chariot did not derail, but those in front did and were crushed, he says according to Kathimerini.
He says he used his bag to break a window so he could get out.
The cause of the accident is not yet known. It happened in a gentle curve along a stretch of dual carriageway, near a tunnel where the railroad crosses a highway.
The extension has been updated in recent years. A railway director who was in charge of the department has been arrested, reports national broadcaster ERT. Athena’s voice It was reported that a total of four people were arrested in connection with the investigation.
Despite the upgrade, which includes new tunnels and bridges, as well as two tracks spanning 50 miles, there are still significant problems with the electrical signaling system, according to the Hellenic Locomotive Drivers Association.
Italian railway company
– We travel from one place to another using wireless communication, just like in the old days. Union leader Kostas Gnedonia told Hellenic Radio that the station’s managers are giving us the green light, according to the DPA news agency.
The government called a crisis meeting after the accident, while Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevis traveled to the site. Watchman He writes that the passenger train involved in the accident was operated by the Italian railway company Ferrovi Dello Stato Italians. This company is responsible for all train transfers in Greece.
There has not been a fatal train accident in Greece since 1972.
broadcaster sky Shortly after the accident, videos emerged of derailed carriages with thick clouds of smoke rising from the train.
– There was panic in the carriage, people were screaming, a young man evacuated from the passenger train told SKAI.
– It was like an earthquake, says another ERT passenger.
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