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Rail workers strike as anger over Greece train crash grows

Rail workers strike as anger over Greece train crash grows

Rail workers strike as anger over Greece train crash grows

Rail workers strike as anger over Greece train crash grows

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  • Rail workers across Greece have started a one-day strike due to the train catastrophe.
  • Which left 43 people dead.
  • A 59-year-old Larissa station master is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.
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After the train catastrophe on Tuesday that left at least 43 people dead, rail workers across Greece have started a one-day strike.

“Pain has turned into anger for the dozens of dead and wounded colleagues and fellow citizens,” the workers’ union said in a statement.

The walkout comes after demonstrations in Athens, Thessaloniki, and Larissa, a city close to the catastrophe site.

Rescue personnel are still digging through buckled and burnt carriages for victims.

This was the “most painful moment”, rescuer Konstantinos Imanimidis told news agency, as “instead of saving lives, we have to recover dead”.

On Tuesday, soon before midnight, the incident took place.

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Once both trains ended up on the same track, a passenger train carrying 350 passengers collided with a freight train, causing the front coaches to catch fire.

The national rail system and the Athens metro were both impacted by the railway workers’ strike, which started at 6:00 local time (0400 GMT).

Many people in Greece believe the catastrophe was inevitable, and the union blamed the “tragic result” on previous governments’ “disrespect” for Greek railways.

A 59-year-old Larissa station master is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday on charges of manslaughter by negligence.

He has said he did nothing wrong and put the blame for the incident on a technical issue.

The nation’s transport minister resigned in response to the tragedy, declaring that he would accept responsibility for the government’s “long-standing failures” to modernise the nation’s antiquated railway system.

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The administration has, however, pledged to launch an impartial investigation that, according to its claims, will result in justice.

Nonetheless, resentment has been raised by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ assertion that “tragic human mistake” was to fault.

The corporation in charge of maintaining Greece’s trains, Hellenic Train, had rioters and police fighting outside its Athens offices on Wednesday.

Protesters flung stones and started fires in the streets; tear gas was deployed to disperse them.

One protester stated during a silent vigil held in Larissa to remember those who perished in the incident that he believed the tragedy was inevitable.

“The rail network looked problematic, with worn down, badly paid staff,” Nikos Savva, a medical student from Cyprus, told AFP news agency.

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The station master arrested should not pay the price “for a whole ailing system”, he added.

“This is an inadmissible accident. We’ve known this situation for 30 years,” a doctor based in Larissa, Costas Bargiotas, told AFP.

After a lengthy weekend spent commemorating Greek Orthodox Lent, many of the passengers on board were young adults in their 20s who were returning to Thessaloniki.

Temperatures inside the first carriage, which caught fire, reached 1,300C (2,370F), according to Vassilis Varthakogiannis, a spokesman for the fire department. This made it “impossible to identify the persons who were inside,” he said.

Family have donated DNA samples to aid in identifying attempts, and Thursday’s findings are anticipated.

In order to treat injured passengers, Kostas Malizos, a recently retired surgeon and Emeritus Professor at Greece’s University of Thessaly, has come back to work.

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We are currently trying to match the human remains that were discovered at the crash site with DNA, he told the media.

But, according to Professor Malizos, it is challenging to estimate the number of people who are missing.

In addition, he questioned how the prime minister could have come to the conclusion that human error was to blame so quickly and insisted that a thorough independent investigation was necessary.

“It’s a disaster, it’s catastrophic. Families are crying tonight. Unfortunately, the majority of the lost people are young students. They left home, happy after the long weekend, to go for their studies or to see their relatives and never reached them.”

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Greece station master charges with manslaughter by negligence
Greece station master charges with manslaughter by negligence

The station master has been accused of manslaughter. And causing great bodily...

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