The station master was taken into custody

Chakis Mitrolitis / AFP A photo shows flowers laid on the tracks at Rapsani train station, northern Greece, during a memorial service for the victims of a deadly train crash that killed 57 people on March 5, 2023. – Students and residents of the municipality of Tempi gathered in Tempi Valley to commemorate the victims of Greece’s worst train disaster in nearby Larissa on February 28. Many of the victims were students returning from weekend vacations. (Photo by Sakis MITROLIDIS / AFP)

Chakis Mitrolitis / AFP

Train crash in Greece: Station master in pre-trial detention (Photo of train hit tracks)

GREECE – The station master involved in a fatal error that led to a train collision in Greece on Tuesday March 1 that killed 57 people was remanded in pre-trial detention on Sunday March 5, a judicial source told AFP. told AFP. This 59-year-old man, who admitted his responsibility, was charged for the alleged responsibility “The Death of Most People”Under the Greek Penal Code, the offense is punishable by a prison term of ten years to life.

Violent clashes broke out between police and protesters on the sidelines of a rally after a train crash in Athens on Sunday, sparking outrage across the country despite the prime minister’s anger.

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“Abolish murderous governments! »

59-year-old Vassilis Samaras, identified by the Ministry of Transport, is responsible for the head-on collision between the train and the goods vehicle traveling on the same track.

But demonstrators in Athens on Sunday demanded accountability for the dilapidated state of railway equipment, leaving the fate of passengers in the hands of an inexperienced station master.

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“Abolish murderous governments! », “It’s not human error!”We read in placards that about 12,000 people showed their anger in Syntagma Square, the grand esplanade in front of the Greek capital’s parliament.

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Negligence and defects in railways

Protesters released hundreds of black balloons to pay tribute to the victims. The tragedy raised a great deal of anger over the negligence and shortcomings of the railways. After the crash, the fourth Athenian rally disintegrated into violent incidents.

Protesters threw Molotov cocktails and police responded with tear gas and stun grenades, AFP journalists found.

“We feel great anger! »Michalis Hasiotis, president of the Association of Chartered Accountants, summarized the procession. Greed and lack of action to protect passengers led to the worst train tragedy in our country..

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“Nothing is going right in this country, hospitals are dying, schools are closing, forests are burning, who are they kidding? »Added Nikos Sikalakis, head of the railway union.

“Excuse me,” asks the Prime Minister.

Most of the victims were young people and students returning to the large university city of Thessaloniki after a long weekend. On television, heartbreaking images of parents in tears, waiting anxiously in front of hospitals for information on the fate of their children, helped to cast aspersions on the authorities and their management of the disaster.

On Sunday morning, conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis apologized to the families of the victims in a solemn speech before a religious ceremony at an Orthodox cathedral in Athens.

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“As Prime Minister, I am asking everyone, but especially the relatives of the victims, to apologize.”He wrote. “In 2023 Greece, it’s impossible for two trains to run in opposite directions on the same track and no one will notice”. “We cannot, will not and must not hide behind human error” Complained to the station master, who insisted.

The station master’s inexperience has been condemned since the very day after the tragedy actually took place. According to Greek media, he only received a short training session before finding himself alone as station master, while traffic on the line was heavy due to the long weekend.

According to the judicial source, the investigation is also aimed “To initiate criminal proceedings, if necessary, against members of the management of the company” Hellenic Rail, Greek Railways.

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The burial of the victims continued with great emotion on Sunday. At the small Rabsani station, near the crash site in the center of the country, parents of students placed red and white carnations and lit candles on the tracks.

Anger is directed primarily at the Hellenic train. say “Assassins” It was painted in red letters on the window of the headquarters in Athens on Friday. The company was implicated for several acts of negligence and omission that led to this disaster “National Tragedy” by the authorities.

She defended herself on Saturday evening by saying that “It was from the first moments on the scene” and set up “A call center to provide information (…)”.

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Hellenic Rail was bought by the Italian public group Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane (FS) in 2017 as part of a privatization program demanded by Greece’s creditors during the economic crisis (2009-2018). Railway union representatives warned about the risk of accidents three weeks in advance.

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