After the devastating collision of two trains in Central Greece with at least 36 dead and 72 injured, the authorities want to fully clarify the accident. The first is to identify the victims.
Many of the bodies are burned and can only be identified by DNA analysis, so the number of victims is likely to rise. Tattoos and clothes also served as important clues in the search for the identity of the victims, Greek media reports. At the same time, research into the causes is in full swing.
Railroad workers arrested
The station master, who was responsible for the station in the city of Larisa in central Greece on Tuesday evening, is said to have admitted to having set the points wrong. "I made a mistake and sent the passenger train onto the same track as the oncoming freight train," the 59-year-old railway worker is said to have put on record, as the state broadcaster ERT reported last night, citing police circles. The man had already been arrested in the morning.
But that should not be the end of the investigation. Shortly after the serious accident, rail workers and their unions criticized that the electronic control system on the Athens - Thessaloniki route had not been working for a long time. Therefore, the station masters are responsible for coordinating the trains almost by hand.
"Tragic Human Error"
In a speech to the country, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis assured the people on Wednesday evening that the circumstances of the accident would be fully clarified. Everything indicates that it was mainly due to a "tragic human error". An independent, non-partisan commission should clarify why the necessary modernization of the Greek railways has failed to materialize in recent years.
Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis had previously resigned. He feels obliged to take responsibility for the mistakes of the Greek state. That was the least to show respect to the families of the victims, he justified the step. According to consistent reports, the victims are mainly young people. Many had come from the long weekend after a holiday and were on their way to the university in Thessaloniki.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his country's condolences to Greece. He stressed that the United States stands with the Greek people at this difficult time.