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Greek Station Master Jailed Pending Trial after Deadly Train Crash

Train crash Greece
The station master at Larissa was jailed pending trial. Credit: AMNA

The Greek stationmaster has been jailed pending trial on Sunday over the train crash at Tempi, near Larissa that killed at least 57 people.

The 59-year-old man, who cannot be named under Greek law, was the stationmaster at Larissa that fateful night. He faces multiple charges of disrupting transport and putting lives at risk.

The transport safety charge potentially carries a life sentence.

“For about 20 cursed minutes he was responsible for the safety of the whole of central Greece,” his lawyer Stefanos Pantzartzidis said.

Pantzartzidis has previously said that his client was devastated and had assumed responsibility “proportionate to him”, but other factors were also at play, without elaborating.

Meanwhile, the identification of the remains of victims found at the crash site has been completed, with the death toll remaining at 57.

In total, 55 bodies have been identified and one remains unknown, as it has not been declared missing and there is no comparative DNA sample to use for identification. One woman is still seeking her daughter, who was on the train, of whom no trace has yet been found.

The work of removing the carriages and debris from the crash site has been completed, with the fire brigade now conducting a final sweep of the ground around the trains for possible biological material that may have been missed.

Protests over the train crash

The stationmaster’s detention came as clashes erupted between police and protesters in Athens.

During a rally in Syntagma Square, some demonstrators set fire to rubbish bins and threw petrol bombs. Police responded by firing tear gas and stun grenades, clearing the Square of the protesters within a few minutes.

According to the police, some 200 individuals located on Panepistimiou street, near the end of the march, attacked the police forces at the rally with stones, pieces of marble and petrol bombs and then proceeded to also cause damage to buildings and vehicles.

“The police forces, to fend off these attacks, made limited use of the necessary and indicated means, and proceeded to detain six persons, of whom five were arrested,” the police announcement said.

Seven police officers were injured in the above attacks and taken to the 401 General Military Hospital in Athens.

Greek PM apologizes for the train crash

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis took to social media on Sunday to apologize for the train tragedy at Tempi that resulted in the deaths of at least 57 people.

Mitsotakis who is facing a general election this spring as prime minister, offered a “great apology” on behalf of his government and on behalf “of all those who have ruled Greece over the years.”

He acknowledged that it is beyond comprehension that two trains travel on the same line and collide in modern Greece.

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