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Greek Train collision: Angry protests after govt admits negligence

Greek Train collision: Angry protests after govt admits negligence

Larissa/ Greece: After two trains collided head-on and the crash killed 48 people, the Greek government acknowledged its mismanagement of the rail system and apologised. However, it has triggered angry protests in the country, Agence France-Presse reported.

The protestors crowded outside the Hellenic Train on Wednesday evening, and police resorted to tear gas after protesters stoned the building.

One of the protesters told AFP that the disaster was impending. The rail network was problematic and worn down, and staff were badly paid.

While teams worked on the wreckage at the crash site, where one passenger train and a freight train crashed, the local station master admitted negligence in managing the rail system.

The government's spokesperson Yiannis Economou said that there would be an investigation into the chronic delays in implementing railway works, the continuing "public sector malaise and decades of failure", AFP quoted him.

The crash happened on Tuesday after the two trains were allowed to speed towards each other for some kilometres, and they collided outside Larissa in central Greece.

The station master got arrested for "human error", causing the collision. Two carriages were demolished while a restaurant boggy caught fire in which many were trapped.

The spokesperson said that the station master confessed the responsibility, the negligence, and the error.

The state-owned rail operator Trainose was privatised and sold to Italy's Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane and became Hellenic Train five years ago. Still, safety systems in the Athens-Thessaloniki line are yet to be automated. The safety concerns in the line have been going on for years, according to train unionists.

After allegations on the safety shortcoming of the line that it had been neglected for years, the Greek transport minister resigned on Wednesday. However, it was replaced, and the new minister apologised to the victims and their families.

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TAGS:Greeceprotestsgovernmenttrain accident
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