Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Greece train crash: Survivors describe ‘nightmarish seconds’

Survivors have told of a “nightmarish 10 seconds” as their train carriage overturned and was engulfed in flames in a crash in central Greece.
At least 36 people died and dozens more were injured in the head-on collision between two trains near the city of Larissa on Tuesday night.

The front carriages of a passenger train involved were mostly destroyed.

Rescuers have been working through the night to search for survivors after a train crash near the city of Larissa, in northern Greece.

The station master in the Greek city near where two trains collided on Tuesday night has been arrested, police said.

“We heard a big bang,” said 28-year-old passenger Stergios Minenis, who jumped to safety from the wreckage.

“We were turning over in the carriage until we fell on our sides and until the commotion stopped. Then there was panic. Cables, fire. The fire was immediate. As we were turning over we were being burned. Fire was right and left,” Minenis was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

“For 10, 15 seconds it was chaos. Tumbling over, fires, cables hanging, broken windows, people screaming, people trapped.”

The passenger train had been traveling from Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki when it crashed head-on with the other freight train, causing the front carriages to burst into flames, shortly before midnight local time.

It is being described as the worst train crash Greece has ever seen. An investigation has been launched and police say they have arrested a local station master in Larissa.

Survivors have described the panic and chaos of the crash, with one shaken passenger telling Skai television, “the windows suddenly exploded” and “people were screaming and were afraid”.

“Fortunately, we were able to open the doors and escape fairly quickly. In other wagons, they did not manage to get out, and one wagon even caught fire.”

Some passengers said they were forced to break carriage windows with their bodies or luggage to escape the burning wreckage.

Angelos Tsiamouras told Greek broadcaster ERT the crash had felt like an earthquake, and he smashed the train window using his suitcase. “We broke the windows with our backs,” another unnamed passenger said.

One survivor, Lazos, told the newspaper Protothema: “I wasn’t hurt, but I was stained with blood from other people who were injured near me.”

Many of the 350 passengers on board the passenger train were students in their 20s returning to Thessaloniki after a long weekend celebrating Greek Orthodox Lent.

Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis said the exact number of dead is still unclear, amid reports there are 20-25 people still missing. However, officials say some may have left the scene without being accounted for.

One woman told Greek channel ANT1 her 23-year-old cousin, who was speaking to his mother on the phone from the passenger train shortly before the line cut, is still missing.

“His mother has been looking for him since dawn,” she added. Sixty-six people were being treated in hospital for their injuries, including six admitted to intensive care.

“It was a very powerful collision,” the regional governor of the Thessaly region, Kostas Agorastos, told state-run television.

He said the first four carriages of the passenger train were derailed, and the first two carriages caught fire and were “almost completely destroyed”.

“They were traveling at great speed and one (driver) didn’t know the other was coming,” the governor added.

As daylight broke, dozens of rescue workers aided with cranes were lifting the charred remains of the derailed carriages to search for more victims.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life. It’s tragic. Five hours later, we are finding bodies,” an exhausted rescuer emerging from the wreckage told AFP news agency.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who visited the disaster scene on Wednesday, has vowed to find out what happened and ensure it never happens again.

Three days of national mourning have also been declared.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Saudi Press
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
China Criticizes US for Vetoing UN Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
The U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, instead proposing its own six-week ceasefire plan contingent upon the release of all hostages held by Hamas
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Saudi Arabia ranks first in UN index for e-government services in MENA
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Israel Records 20% Drop In GDP, War In Gaza Is The Reason
Saudi Arabia's FDI Inflows Grow with New International Standards
Venture Capitals Power Up Across MENA Region
Saudi Arabia Introduces Terms for 30-Year Income Tax Exemption for Multinational Companies
Saudi FM: Establishing Palestinian state is only pathway for Mideast stability
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Elon Musk's Starlink Gets License For Israel, Parts Of Gaza
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
PM Modi Announces Opening Of New CBSE Office In Dubai
International Criminal Court's Chief "Deeply Concerned" By Rafah Bombing
January Funding for MENA Startups Totals $86.5 Million
Saudi Arabia accelerates digital economy growth through Nvidia partnership
Indian female military officers commend Saudi Arabia's progress and women's empowerment
Israel unveils tunnels underneath Gaza City headquarters of UN agency for Palestinian refugees
Israel deploys new military AI in Gaza war
Egypt threatens to suspend key peace treaty if Israel pushes into Gaza border town, officials say
Israel Utilizes AI Military Technology in Gaza Conflict
Saudi Arabia Warns Of A "Humanitarian Catastrophe" If Israel Moves On Rafah
China Warns Iran to Halt Houthi Attacks or Damage Trade Ties
US University To Shut Qatar Campus Due To "Heightened Mideast Instability"
Iran-backed hackers interrupt UAE TV streaming services with deepfake news
Facebook and Instagram Ban Iran's Supreme Leader
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken: The Israelis underwent dehumanization on 7.10, this does not give them the right to do this to others.
Defense Technology Showcase Held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rise 2.5% to $6bn in November 2023: GASTAT
UK Bans Misleading "Zero Emissions" Claims for Electric Cars
Gaza's Teen Inventor Sparks Light in Displacement
Netanyahu Rejects Ceasefire Proposal, Insists On Total Victory Over Hamas
Guterres appoints independent UNRWA review panel
Private Sector Employment Hits Record High with Over 11 Million Employees in January
Rolls-Royce Executive Encourages Saudi Women to Tap into Their Inner 'Superhero' for Success in Defense Industry
Saudi Arabia launches National Academy of Vehicles and Cars
Saudi Tourism Minister Reveals Plan for 250,000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030
SAR to more than double eastern network passenger capacity with new trains deal
Saudi Arabia Enhances National Defense with New Partnerships
Saudi Aramco Maintains Arab Light Crude Pricing to Asia for March
NEOM Establishes New York Office to Support Investors
Saudi Wealth Fund Draws in Over $25 Billion Worth of Investments in Three Years, Al-Rumayyan Reveals
ZATCA Cautions Against Scammer Schemes
INTRA Defense Technologies inaugurates drone factory in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Alkhorayef, has announced a partnership with the London Metal Exchange to set up metal storage and delivery centers in the country. Alkhorayef highlighted Saudi Arabia's expanding military industries sector, crediting the Public Investment Fund (PIF) as a key partner, during his speech at the second PIF Private Sector Forum in Riyadh
×