Greek Train Crash: Minister Resigns, Suspect Detained
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ATHENS (Worthy News) – Greek’s Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis resigned, and a station master was detained after the deadliest known train accident in the country’s, and Europe’s, recent history killed scores of people.
Officials said the passenger train derailed near the central city of Larissa overnight, killing at least 36 people. At least 66 people were hospitalized, some of them with serious injuries.
As the death and destruction became clear on Wednesday, Karamanlis resigned, saying that stepping down was “the least he could do to honor the memory of the victims.” He added that he was taking responsibility for the state’s “long-standing failures” amid more extended grievances over transport policies in the European Union country.
However, police also said that the prosecutor charged the 59-year-old station master with mass deaths through negligence and causing grievous bodily harm through negligence.
The man was not identified.
Although much of Greece’s small railway network has been closed, the government has invested in the central rail artery between Athens and
Thessaloniki and the trains were traveling on what appears to be a well-maintained stretch of the electrified mainline, commentators
The arrest of a station manager in Larissa, who allegedly wrongly directed one of the trains, suggested human error is an initial line of inquiry.
The last comparable tragedy in Europe was in 2016 when a head-on collision in Bad Aibling in Germany killed 12 people. In that incident, authorities said a distracted signaller, who allowed two trains to travel in opposite directions down the single-track line, was found responsible.
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