Train disaster in Greece: postponed appearance of station master

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Railway disaster in&nbsp ;Greece: postponed appearance of station master

A woman lights candles placed at the entrance to the courthouse following the fatal collision between two trains in the town of Larissa.

Greek justice has decided to postpone until Sunday the appearance of the chief of the station located closest to the site of the train tragedy which occurred earlier this week. The 59-year-old man is suspected of having made a fatal error which led to the death of several dozen people.

The investigating judge of Larissa, the town closest to the scene of the accident, will have to decide after this court appearance whether to charge him with negligent manslaughter.

While the anger that has been brewing since this disaster has not subsided, hundreds of demonstrators gathered calmly in Athens and Thessaloniki at the end of the day on Saturday, at the call of young communists.

< p class="e-p">The man, whose identity has not been revealed, had only received 40 days of training to become a station master.< /p>

However, according to a judicial source, the investigation also aims to initiate criminal proceedings, if necessary, against members of the management of Hellenic Train, the Greek railways.

According to the daily Kathimerini, justice seeks to understand how an inexperienced station master found himself alone, without anyone to supervise him, at Larissa station for four days when rail traffic on this line was intense due to this long weekend linked to an Orthodox holiday.

A search was also carried out on Friday in Larissa train station.

The government also decided to instruct a committee of experts to investigate the causes of the accident.

Since the day after the disaster, Greeks took to the streets to show their anger, accusing the authorities of negligence and pointing the finger at the dilapidated state of the railway infrastructure.

An Orthodox priest leads the funeral procession of Ifigenia Mitska, 23, in Giannitsa, northern Greece, March 4, 2023.

A large gathering of students and railway and public sector employees is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m. in Syntagma Square, opposite the parliament, Athens.

At Tempé station, near the scene of the tragedy, the families of the victims have also planned to gather on Sunday.

The burials of the victims also began with immense emotion.

This tragedy shocked all of Greece, in particular because many of the victims were young students returning from a long weekend in Thessaloniki, the great university town in the north.

The outbursts of anger also led to clashes in Athens and Thessaloniki. Friday evening, the police used tear gas and stun grenades in these two cities.

The anger is above all directed against Hellenic Train. The word Assassins was painted in red letters on the glass of the company's headquarters in Athens, in front of which more than 5,000 angry and demanding people gathered on Friday, found the ;AFP.

This company is implicated for numerous negligence and deficiencies which led to this disaster qualified as a national tragedy by the authorities.

The president of the OSE train conductors' union, Kostas Genidounias, highlighted the safety shortcomings on the offending line.

The union representatives of the Hellenic Train railway company had sounded the alarm bells a three weeks saying this: We are not going to wait for the accident to happen to see those responsible shed crocodile tears.

Young Greeks are demanding the truth despite the government's mea culpa on the chronic failures of the railway network, which led to the accident.

We are filled with rage and do not We can accept that such a tragic event could occur in 2023, underlined the president of a student union, Angelos Thomopoulos, according to whom most universities remained closed on Friday.

Justice and the population want to understand why a train carrying 342 passengers and 10 railway workers was authorized to use the same single track between Athens and Thessaloniki as a freight convoy.

< p class="e-p">Trains did not run on Thursday and Friday after a strike was called by railway unions. The call was extended on Friday for another 48 hours.

The Athens metro also planned to strike again on Sunday after a first strike on Thursday.

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