Video has surfaced from the moment that a Passenger and freight trains have collided in Greece At least 46 people were killed in the country’s deadliest rail disaster late Tuesday night. Surveillance camera video shows an approaching train before a blinding flash of light and a massive explosion.
More than 50 people were still hospitalized on Thursday after the fire accident that has sparked heated debate over the state of the European nation’s public transport network, as the cause of the disaster appeared to be a case of human error.
The death toll rose to 46 on Thursday as more badly burned remains were removed from the rubble, the Hellenic Fire Brigade said.
Officials still haven’t said exactly how the two trains on the same track ended up on a collision course, but the officer in charge of a train station in central Greece, who was arrested Wednesday in connection with the crash, has reportedly “taken responsibility”.
The station master, who was on duty in the town of Larissa, about 15 miles southwest of the crash site, when the crash occurred “admitted” responsibility for the accident, a federal government spokesman said Thursday.
“I believe that the responsibility, the negligence and the mistake have been admitted by the station master,” Yiannis Economou told journalists.
But many Greeks, including rail network workers who went on strike Thursday over the disaster, have denounced the country’s poor rail safety record.
The country’s federal transport minister, Kostas Karamanlis, announced his resignation on Wednesday “as a fundamental sign of respect for the memory of the people who died so unjustly.”
Speaking live on TV, he called it “the least he could do to honor the memory of the victims,” adding that he accepts responsibility for “long-term outages” in the country’s transport network.
Karamanlis said he has made “every effort” to improve the country’s railway system but accepts that it is “in a condition that is not appropriate for the 21st century”.
Many of those killed and injured on the train are said to have been university students returning to classes after a break.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday called the collision “a horrific rail accident without precedent in our country,” and he promised a full and independent investigation would determine the cause. He said the crash was “primarily the result of tragic human error.”