The collision between a passenger train and a freight train, which took place on Tuesday night in northern Greece, left at least 36 dead and 85 injured, according to a new report by the Fire Department.
“Thirty-two passengers were found dead,” Greek firefighter Vassilis Vathrakogiannis said today at a press conference, stating that rescue operations are still ongoing.
“Of the 85 people injured, 53 remain hospitalized,” he added.
For now, no details have been advanced about what led to the collision. According to the Associated Press agency, several wagons derailed and at least three caught fire after the accident, which occurred shortly before midnight (10 pm Lisbon time) near Tempe, about 380 kilometers north of the capital. Greek, Athens.
Initial analyzes advanced by the ‘media’ point to human error, with the two trains running on the same track. However, there is also the possibility that one of the trains derailed and collided with the other that followed in another track, according to the Greek television channel SKAI TV.
According to the country’s media, this is already “the worst railway accident Greece has ever seen”.
Rail operator Hellenic Train said the passenger train, which linked Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki, was carrying around 350 people at the time of the collision.
According to statements by the mayor of Tempe, Yorgos Manolis, to public broadcaster ERT, many students were on board the train after a long weekend.
Around 150 firefighters and 40 ambulances were mobilized to the scene, according to the Greek emergency services.
“It was a very strong collision. This is a terrible night (…) It is difficult to describe the scenario”, the governor of the Thessaly region told state television.
“The front part of the train was destroyed (…) We are receiving cranes and special lifting equipment to remove the rubble and lift the cars. There is debris scattered across the crash site,” added Costas Agorastos.