Greece: “Tragic human error” explains the collision of two trains
Thirty-eight people died in the accident and several others were injured.
Several people have spoken of the dilapidated state of Greece's rail network.
The deadly collision of two trains in Greece on Tuesday evening, which killed 38, was due to “tragic human error” , Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday.
Everything shows that the drama is due, unfortunately, mainly to a tragic human error, said the head of government the day after this unprecedented train accident in Greece, according to him, and which made, according to a new balance sheet, 38 dead and several dozen injured.
Earlier, the Minister of Transport, Kostas Karamanlis, had announced that he was presenting his resignation after this accident between a passenger train which linked Athens to Thessaloniki, in the north of the country, and a convoy of goods.
They collided head-on when they had been for an undetermined reason on the same track for several kilometers .
Under the violence of the shock which occurred shortly before midnight, the locomotives and the leading cars were pulverized and the drivers of the two trains killed on the spot.
One of the trains carried passengers and the other carried goods. (File photo)
The station manager of Larissa, the town closest to the accident in central Greece, was arrested during the day, according to a judicial source told AFP and he is being prosecuted for negligent homicide and for causing bodily harm.
Most of the victims are young people, Mitsotakis pointed out, as many students returned to Thessaloniki after a weekend. extended end, Monday being a public holiday in Greece.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he met relatives of victims during a visit to the scene and then to the hospital in Larissa. They asked me, ''Why?'', he said.
We owe them a honest answer, he added during a brief recorded television intervention.
The controversy swelled on Wednesday concerning the state of the rail network, which many consider dilapidated.
The president of the OSE train conductors' union, Kostas Genidounias, denounced the lack of safety, according to him, on this line which connects the two main cities of Greece.
All [the signage] is done manually. It's been since the year 2000 that the systems have not worked, he got carried away on the ERT television channel.
Previously, he had also assured AFP that no security system, remote control and traffic light were working.
Contacted by AFP, the Italian public group Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), which controls the Hellenic Train railway company, privatized in 2017, did not immediately comment.
Greece declares three days of national mourning after one of the country's worst train disasters. At least 36 people died, and 85 others were injured, when two trains collided. A station master was arrested and the Greek transport minister resigned. Lise Villeneuve has more details.
Images showed charred train cars in a tangle of metal parts and shattered windows.
Other carriages, less damaged, lay on their side as rescuers used ladders to try to extricate survivors and two giant cranes to transport pieces of the wrecked trains.
The collision occurred at the exit of a small tunnel over which passes a highway linking Athens to Thessaloniki.
The work of the firefighters and the rescuers is very difficult, they are looking […] for the charred bodies, explained Konstantinos Giannakopoulos, the president of the union of doctors of Larissa, on the chain public television ERT.
It was the terror train, Pavlos Aslanidis, whose son is missing along with a friend, told reporters .
In Larissa, where injured people were transported, the mayor, Apostolos Kalogiannis spoke of streams of ambulances bringing in burn victims, amputees, whatever; one can imagine.
We felt the collision like a great earthquake, a passenger, Angelos, 22, told AFP at the scene of the crash. x27;accident.
Fortunately, we were in the penultimate car and made it out alive. There was a fire in the first cars and panic ensued. It's a nightmare that I lived […] I am still shaking, he continued.
Some 500 people participated in the rescue on Wednesday, said the government spokesperson.