trains collide in Greece; Rescuers are desperately searching for survivors after two trains collided in Central Greece, killing dozens and injuring scores.
At least 36 people were kill when a passenger train carrying more than 350 people collided with a freight train in the central Greek town of Tempi, near the city of Larissa. Shortly before midnight on Tuesday night, the Greek fire service said. .
She added that 66 people were treat in hospital for their injuries, six in intensive care units.
The process of identifying the victims has also begun, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said early Wednesday.
Speaking outside Larissa hospital, Plevris said: “As you can understand. This is a terrible process for the parents and family members here. We are helping them as much as we can.”
He said there were “some difficulties” in the identification process. But added that “the condition of the injured is quite good.”
“We just heard a bang … the carriage (of the train) started to spin. Then turned to the side when we managed to get off,” one passenger told Greek public broadcaster ERT.
“It was a nightmare 10 seconds with the fire, you couldn’t see much of the smoke,” said a second passenger.
trains collide in Greece; The Greek fire service said that recovery work was underway, focusing mainly on the first carriages of the passenger train. The death toll is expect to rise.
The passenger train was traveling from the capital Athens to Thessaloniki. The second largest city in Greece, known for its festivals and vibrant cultural life. The clash came after the country’s carnival over the weekend, which ended on Monday with a public holiday.
Pictures from Greek state broadcaster ERT showed plumes of thick smoke billowing from the overturned carriages and long lines of rescue vehicles beside them.
Meanwhile, rescue services searched for survivors in carriages with torches. Emergency medical personnel removed the shocked passengers from the scene.
The photos also show the few surviving passengers arriving in Thessaloniki. Vassilis Varthakogiannis, a spokesman for the Greek fire service. Said earlier that 194 passengers were brought safely to Thessaloniki. While 20 people take by bus to the city of Larissa.
Varthakogiannis add that at least 150 firefighters. Including special rescue units with 17 cars and 30 ambulances, were involve in the rescue operation.
“All the actions of the firefighters working on the scene are focuse on the first three carriages of the train,” he said. “The cranes allow access and full inspection of the interior of the carriages.
Hellenic Train, the Greek railway company, said in a press release that there was “a collision between two trains, a freight train and the train IC 62, which was traveling from Athens to Thessaloniki”.
Officials say it is still unclear what caused the collision.
Hellenic Train, the main railway company of Greece, in 2017. Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane bought and is now fully controlled by Trenitalia. The company carries out both passenger and cargo transport. The main line that offers daily connections is Athens – Thessaloniki.
Condolences came from all over the world. Writing on Twitter, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said: “Sad thoughts after the terrible train accident near Larissa, Greece… my heart goes out to the Greek people and my sincere condolences to the victims and their families.”
“My thoughts are with the people of Greece,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“All of Europe mourns with you. I also wish a speedy recovery for all those injured.”