A panel of experts appointed by authorities in Greece to examine the causes of the deadly rail crash at Tempi issued its long-awaited report on Thursday.
The 228-page report examined the causes of the crash on February 28. The collision, involving the InterCity 62 (IC62) passenger train and an intermodal freight train killed at least 57 people.
It was discovered that the IC62 passenger train was allowed to proceed on the wrong track and pass signals at danger despite the presence of the freight train on the same track.
According to the findings, the accident was the result of a confluence of factors, including shortcomings at the level of operation, human resources and technological equipment.
Report apportions responsibilities for the rail crash in Greece
In the conclusion of 228 pages, which is divided into 10 chapters, there is an apportioning of responsibilities to organizations and persons, such as OSE, ERGOSE, the Transport Regulatory Authority, Hellenic Train and the station master.
Vassilis Samaras, the station master at Larissa on the night of the accident has been remanded in custody.
The report also puts at fault the train drivers, who allegedly did not follow the regulations.
There is also a reference to the need to immediately modernize the railway, as chronic shortcomings are identified, as well as to the need for radical changes in matters of personnel transfers and training.
The report says that the experts dealt with the facts of the rail tragedy and they did not attribute responsibilities, which as they say is the responsibility of the competent judicial authorities who are already working at a fast pace in this direction.
The panel’s findings are independent of the official ongoing judicial investigation into the train crash.
The main aim of the report, they say, is to highlight and identify the problems in the entire structure of railway transport, which could contribute to preventing similar accidents in the future.
The experts underline in their report that their findings should not become the subject of political or party wrangling.
Deadliest rail crash upends the political system
Earlier in April, a memorial service was held for the victims of the rail disaster marking 40 days after the tragic accident. The service was held at Tempi on the exact spot where the passenger train collided with the freight train.
The moments were heartbreaking as tearful relatives of the victims stood holding black balloons, lighting candles, and leaving flowers and notes on the tracks.
Vigils, angry protests, and clashes with the police occurred throughout Greece following the deadliest rail disaster in Greek history.
Beginning on 2 March 2023, railway workers of Hellenic Train and the Athens Metro went on strike to protest the dangers related to the crash.
Following the accident, Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis resigned, taking responsibility for the crash and for his failure to bring Greek railways to 21st-century standards.
The parties who have governed Greece for decades and make up Greece’s political establishment are seen as responsible for the archaic railway system and their response to the tragedy.