A Hellenic Train station master in Larissa who was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a train accident near Tempi, northern Greece, that led to the death of at least 57 people, was given until Saturday to prepare his defense.
The man appeared before an investigative magistrate in the town of Larissa on Thursday where he was charged with dangerous disruptions of transportation, which due to the deaths caused is considered a felony, his lawyer told journalists outside the court.
He is also expected to face charges of manslaughter through negligence, bodily harm through negligence and dangerous interventions in means of transportation (article 291 of the penal code).
The 59-year-old station master, who assumed duty in the position only 40 days ago, after a year’s training, is considered responsible for the movement of the trains that ended up on the same track heading in opposite directions.
“On a human level, he’s devastated. He reflects upon what happened and cannot bear the burden of responsibility. He accepts the responsibility that belongs to him,” his lawyer said.
“But it is important that we do not miss the forest for the trees. And here, there is a ‘forest’ of responsibilities,” he added.
“I believe that Justice will do its job very well.”
The station master of Larissa train station was arrested on Wednesday as authorities probed the circumstances that led to the passenger train, en route to the northern city of Thessaloniki, colliding with another train carrying shipping containers coming in the opposite direction on the same track.
Railway workers’ associations called strikes, halting national services and the subway in Athens, to protest against working conditions and what they described as a lack of modernization of the Greek rail system.
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