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Greece train crash: 57 confirmed fatalities as public outrage rises

Greece train crash: 57 confirmed fatalities as public outrage rises

One of the 10 coroners working on the case, Eleni Zaggelidou, reported that 57 intact remains had had their DNA collected.

According to a government minister, the lack of investment in the railways was a result of austerity measures taken during Greece’s economic crisis in the 2000s.

Following the tragedy, rail workers went on a one-day strike on Thursday, accusing the government of negligence.

A second day of protests by more than 2,000 people in Athens and Thessaloniki followed the tragedy close to the city of Larissa.

Greece train crash

Pensioner Stavros Nantis in Athens remarked, “We are unhappy with the firm, the administration, and former governments who did little to improve circumstances in the Greek railway.

Rescue personnel are still digging through buckled and burnt carriages for victims.

This was the “most painful moment”, rescuer Konstantinos Imanimidis told Reuters news agency, because “instead of saving lives, we have to recover bodies”.

Just before midnight on Tuesday, a passenger train carrying 350 passengers collided with a freight train after they wound up on the same track, causing the front coaches to catch fire.

The national rail system and the Athens metro were both affected by the railway workers’ strike, which started at 6:00 local time (04:00 GMT).

The union charged that the “tragic result” was caused by previous governments’ “disrespect” for Greek railways. Many people in Greece believe that the tragedy was inevitable.

Zoe Rapti, Greece’s deputy minister of health, told the BBC that the country’s 2010 economic crisis, which resulted in severe austerity measures in exchange for a financial bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund, had made it more challenging to invest in the rail network.

Of course, there were things that needed to be done in these years, but as you may recall, Greece was in a severe economic crisis for more than ten years, so many things were put off, she remarked.

She vowed to conduct a “broad probe” that would yield solutions.

Giannis Oikonomous, a government spokesperson, added that the “chronic delays” in putting rail projects into action were caused by “distortions” in the public sector of the nation that went back decades.

A 59-year-old Larissa station master is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday on charges of manslaughter by negligence. According to his attorney Stefanos Pantzartzidis, he has acknowledged sharing some of the blame for the collision.

“He’s so distraught, in fact. He has always taken on responsibilities that is reasonable for him “The station master, who has not been identified publicly, may not be solely to blame, Mr. Pantzartzidis hinted.

Kostas Karamanlis, the transport minister, resigned in response to the accident, declaring that he would be held accountable for the government’s “longstanding failures” to upgrade an antiquated railway system.

Nonetheless, resentment has been raised by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ assertion that “tragic human mistake” was to fault.

On Wednesday evening, rioters and police engaged in physical altercations outside the Athens headquarters of Hellenic Train, the organisation in charge of maintaining Greece’s railroads.

Protesters flung stones and started fires in the streets; tear gas was deployed to disperse them. One protester stated during a silent vigil held in Larissa to remember those who perished in the incident that he believed the tragedy was inevitable.

Nikos Savva, a medical student from Cyprus, told the AFP news agency that the rail system was unstable and that its crew was underpaid and worn out.

The station master who was detained shouldn’t be held accountable “for a complete failing system,” he said.

After a lengthy weekend spent commemorating Greek Orthodox Lent, many of the passengers on board were young adults in their 20s who were returning to Thessaloniki.

Temperatures inside the first carriage, which caught fire, reached 1,300C (2,370F), according to Vassilis Varthakogiannis, a spokesman for the fire department. This made it “impossible to identify the persons who were inside,” he said.

More than ten persons are still missing, according to local media, as Greece honours three days of national mourning.

Family have donated DNA samples to aid in identifying attempts, and Thursday’s findings are anticipated.

One of them, a woman by the name of Katerina who was on the train looking for her missing brother, yelled “Murderers!” outside the hospital in Larissa, aiming her rage at the government and the rail corporation, according to Reuters.

In order to treat injured passengers, Kostas Malizos, a recently retired surgeon and Emeritus Professor at Greece’s University of Thessaly, has come back to work.

“It’s catastrophic, it’s a calamity,” he declared. “Families are sobbing right now. Sadly, young students make up the majority of the missing people. Happy after the long weekend, they departed for school or to see family, but they never returned.”


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