At least 36 dead and scores injured in fiery Greece train collision
At least 36 people have died and dozens more injured after two trains collided in central Greece. The incident occurred near Larissa, which is about 380 kilometres north of Athens.
The accident involved a passenger train and a freight train travelling in the opposite direction. The passenger train was en route from Thessaloniki to Larissa and was carrying approximately 350 passengers when the collision occurred.
The crash caused multiple carriages to derail, with at least three catching fire. Rescuers wearing headlamps had to work in thick smoke to pull away mangled metal and reach trapped passengers. The army has been brought in to assist.
Hospital officials have said that at least 85 people were injured, some seriously.
The cause of the collision is not yet known, and two rail officials are being questioned by the police.
Passengers who were unharmed or received minor injuries were transported to Thessaloniki by bus, with their names being taken by the police in an effort to track anyone who may be missing.
In comments to state television, Costas Agorastos, the regional governor of the Thessaly area, described the collision as “very powerful” and said it was “a terrible night.”
“The front section of the train was smashed. … We’re getting cranes to come in and special lifting equipment clear the debris and lift the rail cars. There’s debris flung all around the crash site.”
Hellenic Train, which has added highspeed services in recent years, is operated by Italy’s FS Group, which runs rail services in several European countries.
The rail operator said that the passenger train was heading northbound from Athens to Thessaloniki and was carrying approximately 350 passengers.