April 2, 2023

At the very least 46 folks have been killed when a passenger prepare collided head-on with a cargo prepare exterior town of Larissa.

Dozens of individuals have been killed when two trains collided head-on in central Greece, within the nation’s deadliest rail crash on file.

This is what we all know up to now.

What occurred and when?

  • A passenger prepare touring from the capital, Athens, to the northern metropolis of Thessaloniki collided with a cargo prepare carrying delivery containers coming from the other way on the identical monitor.
  • The passenger prepare was carrying 342 passengers and 10 crew, whereas there have been two crew members on the cargo prepare.
  • The prepare left Athens with passengers at 7:22pm (19:22 GMT). Authorities have been knowledgeable in regards to the accident simply earlier than midnight.
  • The derailing carriages burst into flames after the collision. Temperatures in a single carriage rose to 1,300 levels Celsius (2,370 levels Fahrenheit) after it caught hearth.
  • As of Thursday morning, the demise toll was 46.

The place did it occur?

  • The crash occurred exterior the central city of Larissa, some 376km (235 miles) north of Athens, within the municipality of Tempi.
    (Al Jazeera)

What do we all know in regards to the casualties?

  • Most of the victims have been considered college college students. returning dwelling after an extended vacation weekend [or returning to colleges?],
  • A variety of our bodies have been charred past recognition and a few passengers have been being recognized from physique components.
  • Family members of the victims went to a hospital in Larissa the place they have been requested to offer DNA samples to be checked in opposition to these retrieved from the crash website.
  • Greece’s firefighting service mentioned 57 folks remained hospitalized late on Wednesday, together with six in intensive care.
  • Greater than 15 others have been discharged after receiving remedy.
  • Greater than 200 individuals who have been unhurt or suffered minor accidents have been taken by bus to Thessaloniki, 130km (80 miles) to the north.

What went improper?

  • Authorities are nonetheless investigating the circumstances that led to the crash.
  • Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis mentioned it occurred “primarily on account of a tragic human error” however didn’t elaborate.
  • Police have arrested the Larissa station grasp, who’s accountable for rail visitors on that stretch of the tracks. He was on account of seem earlier than a prosecutor Thursday to be formally charged.
  • Investigators have been attempting to find out why each trains have been on the identical monitor “for a lot of kilometres”.
  • Yiannis Ditsas, head of the railway employees’ union, informed Skai TV that automated signaling on the crash website had not been working.
  • Trade specialists say programs that sign whether or not a monitor is already occupied by setting off a pink mild or that routinely function a swap to divert a prepare onto one other monitor should not correctly maintained.
  • “Purple lights malfunction fairly often or they activate for no motive, and the tradition within the Greek rail system is that drivers and station masters have realized to disregard them,” mentioned Al Jazeera’s John Psaropoulos, reporting from Larissa.
  • “The final dialog recorded between the station grasp and the passenger prepare driver suggests precisely such an incident of merely ignoring the signalling. The station grasp says, ‘you might be good to go, you might be good to go,’; The prepare driver wasn’t positive if the signaling was right for him to go away,” he added.
  • Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis resigned, saying he was taking duty for the state’s longstanding failures to repair a railway system that, he mentioned, “was not match for the twenty first century”.
  • Nikos Tsouridis, a retired prepare driver coach, mentioned drivers concerned within the crash had died “as a result of there have been no security measures”. “And why have been there no security measures? The station grasp made a mistake, he acknowledged it. However certainly there must be a security mechanism to fall again on,” he mentioned.
  • Practice unionists say the security shortcomings of the Athens-Thessaloniki railway line, the principle one within the nation, had been recognized for years.
  • Greece bought railway operator TRAINOSE below its worldwide bailout program in 2017 to Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, anticipating a whole bunch of tens of millions of euros to be invested in rail infrastructure within the coming years.

What’s the newest on the bottom?

  • Rescuers resumed a search on Thursday for survivors.
  • A complete of seven charred our bodies have been recovered from the passenger prepare’s third wagon, which served as a restaurant.
  • Authorities spokesman Giannis Oikonomou was anticipated to replace the media round noon on Thursday.
  • Authorities have declared three days of nationwide mourning.

How have folks reacted?

  • Railway employees nationwide walked off the job on Thursday, saying successive governments had ignored repeated calls for to enhance security requirements.
  • In Athens, folks within the a whole bunch marched late on Wednesday to protest in opposition to the prepare deaths.
  • Minor clashes broke out as some protesters threw stones on the workplaces of Greece’s rail operator and riot police and set dumpsters on hearth. No arrests or accidents have been reported.
  • Internationally, flags flew at half-staff exterior all European Fee buildings in Brussels whereas world leaders expressed their condolences. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pope Francis have been amongst these to condole.
Students take part in a protest following a deadly train accident
College students participate in a protest following a lethal prepare accident close to town of Larissa, central Greece [Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP]

What do survivors say?

  • Some survivors described the second when the crash came about.
  • “There was panic… The fireplace was speedy. As we have been turning over, we have been being burned; the fireplace was proper and left,” Stergios Minenis, a 28-year-old who jumped to security, informed Reuters.
  • “Home windows have been being smashed, and folks have been screaming … One of many home windows caved in from the affect of iron from the opposite prepare,” one other passenger, who escaped from the fifth carriage, informed Skai TV.
Greek Train Collision
A crane, firefighters and rescuers function after a collision in Tempe close to Larissa metropolis, Greece, March 1, 2023 [Vaggelis Kousioras/AP Photo]

Rescuers stand near debris of trains after a collision in Tempe, about 376 kilometers (235 miles) north of Athens
Rescuers stand close to particles of trains after a collision in Tempe [Giannis Papanikos/AP Photo]

Students sit as they hold candles during a sit-in protest and tribute to the victims of a deadly train accident
College students sit as they maintain candles throughout a sit-in protest and tribute to the victims of a prepare accident close to town of Larissa [Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP]

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