32 killed after Athens-bound passenger train collides with a freight train in central Greece

The first two carriages of the passenger train were "almost completely destroyed".(Photo: Reuters/Giannis Floulis)

After 32 people were killed and at least 85 injured in an accident between a passenger train and a freight train in central Greece, rescuers combed the debris for survivors.

Tuesday night, a passenger train from Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki collided with a freight train from Thessaloniki to Larissa.

Numerous carriages derailed, and at least three caught fire after the incident near Tempe, outside of Larissa, some 380 kilometres north of Athens.

A medical representative in Larissa reported that at least 25 persons had significant injuries.

The governor of Thessaly, Konstantinos Agorastos, told SKAI TV that the collision was "very strong" and that the first two carriages were "almost destroyed"

"The front section of the train was smashed … we're getting cranes to come in and special lifting equipment to clear the debris and lift the rail cars," he said.

There is debris scattered throughout the crash site.

According to Hellenic Train, the passenger train departed Athens at approximately 7:30 p.m. local time with about 350 passengers.

Tuesday, just before midnight, the fire department was informed of the mishap, according to their report.

Early Wednesday morning, passengers aboard the train from Athens described the chaotic aftermath of the collision to local media.

Stergios Minenis, a 28-year-old passenger who escaped to safety from the debris, stated, "We heard a big bang, [it was] 10 nightmarish seconds,"

A second young man told SKAI TV, "There was panic in the carriage; people were screaming,"

Angelos Tsiamouras, another passenger, told state radio ERT, "It was like an earthquake,"

An unidentified teen survivor stated that he had used a bag to bust out the window of his train carriage and escape.

Vassilis Varthakogiannis, the spokesman for the fire brigade, said in a televised address that hospital units equipped to treat burn victims were placed on alert, and dozens of ambulances were involved in the rescue attempt.

"The evacuation of passengers is underway in tough conditions, given the severity of the collision of the two trains," he stated.

A volunteer rescue worker informed ERT that folks on the site were experiencing a tragedy.

"We are pulling out people alive, injured … there are dead. We will be here all night until we finish and find the last person."

The Greek military has been requested to aid with the rescue operation.

By early Wednesday morning, approximately 250 individuals had been transported to Thessaloniki on buses without incident.

SKAI TV broadcast images of derailed carriages with broken windows, substantial smoke plumes, and debris strewn across the roadway.

In recent years, high-speed train services were added to Hellenic Train, operated by the Italian business Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, or FS Group, which operates rail services in various European nations.

Publish : 2023-03-01 10:33:00

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