At least 16 killed, dozens injured in Greece train crash


Rescue effort under way after passenger train carrying 350 people collided with a cargo train near central city of Larissa.

At least 16 people have been killed and dozens injured after a head-on collision between a passenger and cargo train in Greece.

The crash took place outside the central city of Larissa late on Tuesday when a passenger train heading from Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki collided with a cargo train travelling from Thessaloniki to Larissa.

The fire brigade said the circumstances of the crash remained unclear. At least 85 people were hurt and rescue teams were searching for survivors in the wreckage strewn along the railway tracks.

“The collision was very strong,” Konstantinos Agorastos, the governor of the Thessaly region told SKAI TV, adding the first four carriages of the passenger train had derailed, while the first two carriages were “almost completely destroyed”.

Agorastos said about 250 passengers had been evacuated safely to Thessaloniki on buses.

SKAI showed footage of derailed and crushed carriages and cargo containers, with debris strewn across the road. Rescue workers with high-powered torches were searching in carriages for trapped passengers.

A major emergency response was under way involving police and firefighters. About 30 ambulances had been dispatched to the scene, local media outlet Onlarissa reported.

“There was panic in the carriage, people were screaming,” a young man who was evacuated to a nearby bridge told SKAI TV.

A passenger named Lazos told the newspaper Protothema that the experience had been “very shocking”.

“I wasn’t hurt but I was stained with blood from other people who were hurt near me,” he said.

Local media reported about 350 people were on the train.

“The evacuation of passengers is under way in very difficult conditions given the severity of the collision of the two trains,” fire brigade spokesperson Vassilis Varthakogiannis said in a televised address.

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