Rail disaster in Greece that killed at least 57 people: searches underway at Larissa station

Eva Deschamps / March 4, 2023

The station of Larissa, Greece, was searched Friday morning by police as part of the investigation into the causes of the deadly collision between two trains on Tuesday night, a police spokesman told AFP.
It is still in progress. The police have seized (…) all documents that can help the investigation,” said the spokesman as the train accident, which killed at least 57 people, is blamed on an error by the stationmaster of Larissa, the closest city to the scene of the collision.
The 59-year-old stationmaster was arrested Wednesday. He is charged with “negligent homicide” as well as “personal injury ».
A judicial source also explained to AFP that the ongoing investigation was “also aimed at initiating criminal proceedings, if necessary, against members of the management of the company” Hellenic Train, the Greek railway company, owned by the Italian public company Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane (FS). It confirmed that “audio files, documents and other evidence that could help clarify the case and assign criminal responsibility have been seized ».
Justice wants to understand how a train carrying 342 passengers and ten railway workers was allowed to use the same track as a freight train before colliding head-on with it on Tuesday shortly before midnight. The two trains travelled several kilometers on the same track between Athens and Thessaloniki (north), the two largest Greek cities, before colliding head-on.
This disaster led to a strike on the railways on Thursday, which was renewed on Friday. The unions denounce the under-investment in Greek railroads and “decades of weakness” of successive governments.
On Thursday night, some 2,000 protesters gathered in Thessaloniki, with the demonstration degenerating into stone-throwing and Molotov cocktails. After a first heated rally the day before, hundreds of people also protested in front of the Athens headquarters of Hellenic Train, a company bought in 2017 by the Italian state-owned Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane (FS) as part of the privatization program demanded by Greece’s creditors during the economic crisis (2009-2018). Residents of Larissa also demonstrated, carrying banners that read “Privatization kills. »


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