Home Europe “A terrible night”: At least 32 dead and 85 injured in fiery Greek train collision

“A terrible night”: At least 32 dead and 85 injured in fiery Greek train collision

by editor

Two trains have collided in central Greece killing at least 32 people and injuring dozens more.

The late-night incident happened near the city of Larissa, some 380 kilometres north of Athens.

The collision involved a passenger train and an oncoming freight train.

The passenger train was travelling between Thessaloniki and Larissa. It had about 350 passengers on board when the collision occurred.

Multiple train carriages derailed and at least three caught fire.

Rescuers wearing headlamps worked in thick smoke, pulling away mangled metal to try and reach trapped passengers.

Hospital officials in the nearby city of Larissa said at least 85 people were injured, some seriously. Fifty-three people have been hospitalised, according to the latest reports. 

The army was brought in to assist. It is not yet known what caused the collision. 

The possible cause of the collision was not immediately apparent. Two rail officials were being questioned by police but had not been detained.

Passengers who received minor injuries or were unharmed were transported by bus to Thessaloniki, 130 kilometres to the north. Police took their names as they arrived, in an effort to track anyone who may be missing.

A teenage survivor who did not give his name told reporters as he got off one of the buses that just before the crash, he felt a strong braking and saw sparks and then there was a sudden stop.

“Our carriage didn’t derail, but the ones in front did and were smashed,” he said, visibly shaken.

He added that the first car caught fire and that he used a bag to break the window of his car, the fourth, and escape.

Rail operator Hellenic Train said the northbound passenger train from Athens to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, had about 350 passengers on board.

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.”

Officials said the army had been contacted to assist.

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.

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