Following a head-on collision between two trains in central Greece that left dozens of people dead and scores more injured, rescue personnel are desperately looking for survivors.
The Greek Fire Service reported that on Tuesday night, just before midnight, in Tempi, central Greece, close to the city of Larissa, a passenger train carrying more than 350 people collided with a freight train, leaving at least 32 people dead and more than 85 injured.
“There was just a bang,” As we were able to evacuate, the (train) vehicle was spinning sideways before coming to a stop, one male passenger told the Greek national channel ERT.
A second passenger recalled the fire as “10 terrifying seconds with fire, you couldn’t see anything from the smoke.”
The first two passenger train compartments are the main focus of recovery efforts, according to the Greek Fire Service. There will probably be more fatalities.
Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece and known for its festivals and active cultural life, was where the passenger train was headed from the nation’s capital Athens. The crash happened after a national celebration that took place over the weekend and finished with a holiday on Monday.
When paramedics escorted shell-shocked passengers away from the scene, rescue personnel with torches searched carriages for survivors.
According to Vassilis Varthakogiannis, spokesman for the Greek Fire Service, 194 passengers were safely transported to Thessaloniki, while 20 others were transported by bus to the city of Larissa. 53 of the 85 injured people were still receiving medical attention, he added.
According to Varthakogiannis, there are at least 150 firefighters, 17 vehicles, and 40 ambulances working in the rescue effort.
A freight train and train IC 62, which had left Athens for Thessaloniki, collided head-on, according to a press release from the Greek railway firm Hellenic Train.
The cause of the crash is yet unknown, according to the authorities.
The primary Greek railroad firm, Hellenic Train, was purchased by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane in 2017 and is now entirely under Trenitalia’s management. The business offers both passenger and freight transportation services. Athens-Thessaloniki is the primary route on which daily connections are provided.