Anger in Greece over poor railway safety grew on Thursday as the death toll from a train crash on Tuesday rose to 57, CNN reported. Demonstrators took to the streets after the head-on collision between a passenger train carrying over 350 people and a freight train on Tuesday evening in Tempi.
People gathered outside the central Athens headquarters of Greek rail company Hellenic Train again on Thursday evening in a protest organized by student and worker unions, as per the CNN report. Police personnel were already present outside the Hellenic Train headquarters before the demonstrators arrived at the site. The protest was peaceful after the unrest on Wednesday in which demonstrators clashed with police.
The Greek Transport Minister resigned after the train collision and a rail workers union strike are ongoing in the country, accusing the Greek government of “disrespect” towards railways, as per the news report. Meanwhile, 48 people continue to remain in hospital after the crash. Six of the wounded are in critical condition due to head wounds and serious burns, CNN reported citing state-owned public broadcaster ERT reported Thursday.
The majority of the passenger involved in the accident were young, ERT reported citing a local hospital. Search and rescue operations will continue on Thursday and Friday (local time) at the site of the crash in Tempi near Larissa, CNN cited Fire Service. Families of those missing still await news regarding their loved ones as the identification process continues at Larissa General Hospital.
The Greek federation of rail workers has decided to launch a 24-hour strike on Thursday to highlight poor working conditions and chronic understaffing, CNN reported. It blamed the Greek government for disrespecting railways for causing the crash, saying “more permanent staff, better training and mainly the implementation of modern security systems, are permanently thrown in the bin.”
Meanwhile, the Greek metro workers announced another 24-hour strike. Greek Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis said the railway system inherited by the government is “not up to 21st century standards” as he resigned from his post, as per the news report. After visiting the crash site, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a televised address said that the train collision was “mainly” due to “tragic human error.” (ANI)