GREECE: In connection with Greece’s worst-ever train accident last week, in which 57 people died and many more were hurt, three more railroad workers will soon be charged with crimes.
The charges were brought by judges who were looking into the head-on collision of two locomotives in Tempe, as anger over the tragedy didn’t seem to be going away. On Thursday, as they marched through Athens, student protesters yelled “murderers” at state officials whom they accused of being responsible for an accident that many think could have been avoided if the country’s rail system had not been so neglected.
Nine days have passed since a passenger train going to Thessaloniki crashed into an oncoming freight train, killing 350 people. The Greeks want to see justice done.
According to magistrates who are looking into what caused the crash, two of the people who were charged on Thursday were station masters. On the night of the incident, there was a lot of traffic because of a long holiday weekend, but both people had finished their jobs early. A superior is alleged to have put a novice stationmaster on duty at the time of the accident.
All three will go on trial for offenses that include involuntary manslaughter, disrupting transportation, and causing mass bodily harm; if found guilty, these crimes carry a life sentence in jail. The stationmaster, who is accused of making the fatal point switch that placed the two trains on the same track, was hit with similar accusations on Sunday.
Audio clips from Greek media show that the 59-year-old seems confused when worried coworkers call to ask what happened right after the crash.
The indictments were made public at the same time that the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, called his first cabinet meeting after a period of national mourning. He promised “absolute transparency” as the investigation into the tragedy going on.