ATHENS: A minimum of 32 individuals had been killed and one other 85 injured after a collision between two trains brought about a derailment close to the Greek metropolis of Larissa late Tuesday evening, authorities mentioned.
A hearth companies spokesman confirmed that a number of carriages skipped the tracks simply earlier than midnight after the trains – one for freight and the opposite carrying 350 passengers – collided about midway alongside the route between Athens and Thessaloniki.
“Thirty-two individuals have been discovered lifeless,” spokesman Vassilis Vathrakogiannis advised reporters, including that efforts to rescue individuals nonetheless trapped had been ongoing.
“Of the 85 individuals injured, 53 individuals stay in hospital.”
An evidence for why the 2 trains collided has not but been furnished.
Greek media are calling the crash the “worst prepare accident that Greece has ever recognized”.
The passenger prepare had been travelling from the capital Athens to second metropolis Thessaloniki within the north, whereas the freight prepare was heading in the wrong way.
About 150 firefighters and 40 ambulances had been mobilised for the response, in line with Greek emergency companies. Cranes and mechanical personnel had been additionally deployed to attempt to take away particles and proper overturned automobiles.
“I’ve by no means seen something like this in my total life. It’s tragic.
5 hours later, we’re discovering our bodies,“ mentioned an exhausted rescuer rising from the wreckage the place he and his staff had been working.
One prepare carriage was utterly crushed, making the rescuers’ work significantly tough, whereas smoke and flames emerged from different automobiles.
“Nearly all of passengers have been taken to security,” spokesman Vathrakogiannis mentioned.
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“The operation to free trapped individuals is underway and is happening in tough situations, because of the seriousness of the collision between the 2 trains.”
In response to public tv station ERT, one of many prepare automobiles caught hearth after the collision and a number of other individuals had been trapped inside.
The mayor of the close by city of Tempi, Yorgos Manolis, advised ERT many college students had been on board the prepare, returning to Thessaloniki after a protracted vacation weekend.
‘Stained with blood’
One passenger named Lazos advised the newspaper Protothema that the expertise had been “very stunning”.
“I wasn’t harm, however I used to be stained with blood from different individuals who had been injured close to me,” he mentioned.
On the native media web site Onlarissa, a younger lady mentioned by means of tears that the prepare “was stopped for a couple of minutes once we heard a deafening noise”.
One other shaken passenger advised Skai tv that “the home windows all of a sudden exploded. Folks had been screaming and had been afraid”.
“Luckily, we had been capable of open the doorways and escape pretty rapidly. In different wagons, they didn’t handle to get out, and one wagon even caught hearth,” he added.
An emergency authorities assembly was organised after the crash, and Greek well being minister Thanos Plevris went to the scene whereas inside minister Takis Theodorikakos supervised the response from a disaster administration centre.