Greece train crash: Everything we know so far after dozens die in tragedy | world news

More than 36 people have been killed in a fatal train collision in Greece, as questions remain over its cause.

Rescue teams searched for survivors of Tuesday night’s crash, with some bodies found up to 130ft from the site due to the force of the impact.

The country’s transport minister resigned and a station master was arrested.

Here’s everything we know so far about the collision:

Two trains collide around midnight

Fire officials said 36 people were killed and at least 85 injured after a passenger train, which was carrying around 350 passengers, collided head-on with a freight train just before midnight.

It happened when the passenger train, which was traveling between Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki, emerged from a tunnel near the Valley of Tempe – a gorge that separates the regions of Thessaly and Macedonia.

Police said several carriages rolled off the tracks, at least three of which caught fire, with footage from the scene showing crumpled carriages.

Rescuers operate at the site of an accident

Although it is currently unclear how fast the two trains were traveling when they crashed, state broadcaster ERT quoted rescuers as saying they had found the bodies of some victims 30-40 meters away ( 100-130 feet) from the impact site.

The collision took place near Tempe, about 235 miles north of Athens.

Many victims thought they were students

It is believed that many of the victims were university students.

Officials said many passengers on the Athens-Thessaloniki train were students returning home after celebrating a national carnival over the long weekend.

Firefighters and rescuers on site.  Photo: AP
Firefighters and rescuers on site. Photo: AP

Eight railway workers were among those killed in the accident, including the two drivers of the freight train and the two drivers of the passenger train, according to the president of the Greek Railway Workers’ Union, Yannis Nitsas.

Some 76 people had to be hospitalized, including six in intensive care, Greek firefighters said.

More than 200 uninjured or slightly injured people were transported by bus to Thessaloniki.

The Minister of Transport resigns and the station master arrested

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

The country’s transport minister, Kostas Karamanlis, has resigned, saying he felt it was his “duty” to resign “as a fundamental sign of respect for the memory of those who died so unjustly”.

Police said the 59-year-old Larissa station master was arrested and two other people were detained for questioning.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visits the site of an accident, where two trains collided, near the town of Larissa, Greece, March 1, 2023. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visits the site

Rescue operation hampered

Rescuers used cranes to move large chunks of the train to find the bodies of the victims, but firefighters said the conditions for the operation were “very difficult” due to the severity of the crash.

Fire department spokesman Vassilis Varthakoyiannis said: “The evacuation process is ongoing and is taking place under very difficult conditions due to the severity of the collision between the two trains.

“Temperatures reached 1,300 degrees Celsius (2,372 Fahrenheit), making it even more difficult to identify who was there.”

Three days of national mourning

On Wednesday, the government declared three days of national mourning.

Visiting the scene of the crash, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the government must help the injured, recover and identify the dead.


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