The collision between a passenger train and a freight train, this Tuesday night in northern Greece, left at least 32 dead and 85 injured.
“Thirty-two passengers were found dead,” Greek fire spokesman Vassilis Vathrakogiannis said on Wednesday at a press conference, adding that rescue operations were 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 Greek capital, Athens.
Advanced initial analytics by average 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 was on 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”.
Railway operator Hellenic Train reported that the passenger train, which connected Athens to the city of Thessaloniki, in the north of the country, was carrying around 350 people at the time of the collision.
According to statements by the mayor of Tempe, Yorgos Manolis, to the 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 debris and lift the cars. There is debris scattered all over the crash site,” added Costas Agorastos.