Trains collide in Greece, at the least 36 killed, dozens injured – World
A passenger practice and a cargo practice collided head-on in Greece on Tuesday night time, killing at the least 36 folks and injuring dozens because the nation’s deadliest rail crash in residing reminiscence threw whole carriages off the tracks.
The dying toll was anticipated to rise additional, a hearth brigade official stated. Sixty-six of these injured had been hospitalised, six of whom in intensive care, the official stated.
The crash occurred because the passenger practice emerged from a tunnel. Derailed carriages, badly broken with damaged home windows and thick plumes of smoke, might be seen on the positioning.
One passenger carriage stood on its facet at nearly 90 levels from the remainder of the wrecked practice, with different derailed carriages tilting precariously.
“There was panic … the hearth was rapid, as we had been turning over we had been being burned, fireplace was proper and left,” stated Stergios Minenis, a 28-year-old passenger who jumped to security from the wreckage.
A passenger who escaped from the fifth carriage instructed Skai TV: “Home windows had been being smashed and other people had been screaming … One of many home windows caved in from the affect of iron from the opposite practice.”
The passenger practice was carrying 342 travellers and 10 crew, whereas two crew had been on the cargo practice, in accordance with Hellenic Practice knowledge.
Many had been evacuated to Thessaloniki, the place one lady ran to embrace her daughter as she disembarked from a bus with different survivors.
“Mum don’t, I’m harm,” the daughter stated. One other lady, who was ready there, stated her baby was not choosing up the telephone.
The pinnacle of emergency unit in Larissa hospital Apostolos Komnos stated a lot of the useless had been younger folks, of their 20s.
Lots of the passengers would have been returning dwelling after an extended vacation weekend marking the start of Greek Orthodox lent. Thessaloniki has a big pupil inhabitants.
The government declared three days of national mourning, from Wednesday to Friday, with flags flying at half-mast in a tribute to the victims of the crash.
“We still don’t know the exact number of victims, we will investigate the reasons for (the crash) in full transparency,” Infrastructure and Transport minister Kostas Karamanlis, in tears, told reporters.
One of the questions investigators need to answer is why the two trains were, according to Thessaly regional governor Konstantinos Agorastos, running on the same track when they crashed.
Police temporarily detained the station master in Larissa and at least three witnesses have been questioned, including a representative for Hellenic Train, a police official said.
Greece’s ageing railway system is in need of modernising, with many trains travelling on single tracks and signalling and automatic control systems still to be installed in many areas.
President Katerina Sakellaropoulou cut short a visit to Moldova to return to Greece.
“Even at this moment, a life-saving operation is going on to help those who are on this death train,” she told a news conference in the Molovan capital Chisinau.
In the morning, cranes were lifting derailed carriages, as rescuer scoured through the wreckage. ERT state TV showed one crew carrying what was thought to be a victim, covered in a white sheet, to an ambulance.
Fire brigade spokesperson Vassilis Varthakogiannis said the evacuation of passengers took place in very “difficult conditions given the severity of the collision of the two trains.”
“We are living through a tragedy. We are pulling out people alive, injured…there are dead,” he said.
The cargo train had been travelling from Thessaloniki to Larissa. Local media said the train left Athens around 7.30 pm (0530 GMT). The fire brigade said it was informed of the accident shortly before midnight.
Greece sold railway operator TRAINOSE to Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane in 2017 as part of its international bailout programme, expecting hundreds of millions of euros to be invested in rail infrastructure in the coming years.
According to the Italian company’s website, it’s the important supplier of rail transport for passengers and freight in Greece and runs 342 passenger and business routes a day.