King Charles III of the United Kindom and United States President Joe Biden have both offered their condolences to Greece after the country suffered its worst train crash for at least six decades.
The railway accident occurred on Tuesday 28 February, at Tempi near Larissa, killing at least 57 people and injuring scores more. The fatalities were caused by a deadly collision between a passenger train and a freight train.
King Charles and President Biden were among a number of heads of state and high-ranking diplomatic officials who have been reaching out to offer their sympathies to Greece since the accident shocked the country.
King Charles offers condolences
“My wife and I are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the terrible accident involving the two trains that collided in Northern Greece. I would like to express our deepest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in such a tragic way,” said the British monarch.
“During our visits to Greece, we have always felt the kindness and generosity of the Greek people. Our thoughts, prayers and sincere condolences to all those affected by this terrible tragedy.”
A message of condolence from His Majesty The King to the President of Greece following the train crash in Northern Greece:
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 2, 2023
President Biden’s Message
President Joe Biden also reached out to Greece on Thursday.
“We wish those injured a quick and full recovery,” the President added.
On Wednesday, United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, over the phone, telling him that “the United States stands with the people of Greece during this difficult time.”
Following the fatal collision, Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared a three-day national mourning with flags flying at half-mast on all public buildings and suspension of public events.
Political parties have also suspended their campaigns for the general election expected to be held in April.
The official confirmed death toll has risen to 57, the Fire Brigade said on Thursday. Of the hospitalized 72 train passengers, 15 were released and 57 will remain in hospital – of whom 6 are being treated in Intensive Care Units, it was added
Many of the 350 passengers on board were students in their 20s returning to Thessaloniki after a long weekend celebrating Greek Orthodox Lent.
At the site of the crash, rescuers yet again worked through the night. Crews will continue searching the wreckage of the passenger train for missing persons, although hopes of finding survivors have faded.
Families have been arriving at a nearby hospital to give DNA samples so that their missing loved ones may be identified. Identifying the individuals who were killed in the front carriage will be especially difficult because they bore the full force of the collision and the ensuing fire.