Two trains collided head-on in Tempe, near the City of Larissa in Central Greece, killing 32 people and leaving 85 injured on February 28th.
On Tuesday night in Greece, a passenger train crashed with an approaching freight train, resulting in at least 32 fatalities and 85 injuries.
According to authorities, the incident happened about 380 kilometers (235 miles) north of Athens, close to Tempe, a little town next to a valley home to significant train and highway tunnels.
How Did The Catastrophe Happen?
Konstantinos Agorastos, the governor of the Thessaly area, said that the two trains—a passenger train from Athens to Thessaloniki’s northern city and a cargo train from Thessaloniki to Larissa—collided head-on outside the central Greek city.
He claimed the collision was “very strong” and added that the first four carriages had derailed while the first two were “almost totally destroyed.”
According to Agorastos, 194 passengers were transferred to different buses and transported securely to Thessaloniki.
Just before 5.30 am local time, the Fire Brigade issued a statement stating that police, firefighters, and emergency personnel were still on the scene.
After the collision, which happened about 380 kilometers north of Athens, several vehicles came to a stop, and at least three of them caught fire. In the nearby city of Larissa, hospital authorities reported that at least 25 people had serious injuries.
Around 350 passengers were on board the northbound passenger train from Athens to Thessaloniki at the time of the accident, according to rail operator Hellenic Train.
The Effect of the Crash
The television station SKAI broadcast images of derailed carriages that were heavily damaged amid missing windows and roadside debris. Rescue personnel was spotted by the public searching for trapped commuters in carriages while holding torches.
According to survivors, several passengers were thrown through the train cars’ windows due to the collision. After the passenger train shook and crashed into a field next to the tracks, they claimed others struggled to escape.
An individual who transferred to a neighboring bridge told SKAI TV that there was a sense of panic in the compartment and that people were screaming.
Suddenly, there was an explosion. When we were able to get out, the (train) vehicle had already begun to spin before ending up sideways.
“There was just an explosion… when we escaped, the (train) car was spinning and sideways, another passenger told Greece’s public broadcaster ERT.
Another passenger remarked, “It was 10 nightmare seconds with flames, you couldn’t see much from the smoke.”
“I wasn’t injured, but I had blood stains from other people near me who were hurt,” a passenger who spoke to the Protothema newspaper claimed.
A teen who spoke to Greek media claimed that the first vehicle caught fire and that he had to escape by smashing the window of the fourth car with a bag.
According to local media, family members of passengers congregated in Thessaloniki in anticipation of witnessing their loved ones get off the buses.
The tragic event prompted the declaration of three days of national grief in Greece.