Train disaster in Greece: the appearance of the station master in court postponed

Greece train disaster: station master's appearance in court postponed< /p> UPDATE DAY

The station master, who has admitted responsibility for the train disaster that killed 57 people in Greece, obtained an additional 24 hours from justice on Saturday to prepare his defense, when the revelations on his inexperience multiply in a country in the throes of anger. 

Greek justice has decided to postpone until Sunday the hearing of this 59-year-old man, accused of having made a fatal error which led to the accident on Tuesday evening, announced his lawyer Stefanos Pantzartsidis, to AFP. /p>

The investigating judge in Larissa, the town closest to the scene of the accident, will have to decide after this hearing whether to charge him with “manslaughter by negligence”.< /p>

While the anger that has been brewing since this disaster has not subsided, new demonstrations are expected on Saturday evening in Greece at the call of young communists.

A large gathering of students, railway and public sector workers is also scheduled for Sunday at 11am (0900 GMT) in Syntagma Square, opposite the parliament.

At Tempé station, near the scene of the tragedy, the families of the victims have also planned to gather on Sunday.

The burials of victims have also begun in immense emotion.

< p>This drama shook all of Greece, especially because many of the victims were young students returning from a long weekend in Thessaloniki, the great university town in the north.

Inexperienced< /strong>

According to the daily Kathimerini, justice seeks to understand how an inexperienced station master found himself, alone, without anyone to supervise him, at the station of Larissa for four days, when rail traffic on this line was heavy due to this long weekend linked to an Orthodox holiday.

This man, whose identity has not been revealed, had also only received 40 days of training to become a station master.

But according to a judicial source, the investigation is aimed at also “to initiate criminal proceedings, if necessary, against members of the management of the company” Hellenic Train, the Greek railways, while the dilapidation of the network is pointed out.

A search was also carried out Friday in the station of Larissa.

The government has also decided to appoint a committee of experts to investigate the causes of the accident.

Since the day after the disaster, Greeks have taken to the streets to express their anger, accusing the authorities of negligence and pointing the finger at the dilapidated state of the railway infrastructure.

These outbursts of anger also led to clashes in Athens and Thessaloniki. On Friday evening, the police used tear gas and stun grenades in these two cities.

The anger is primarily directed at Hellenic Train. The word “Assassins” was painted in red letters on the window of the headquarters in Athens, in front of which more than 5,000 angry people gathered on Friday and demanding accountability, AFP noted.

The company is blamed for numerous negligence and shortcomings that led to this disaster described as a “national tragedy” by the authorities.

“We are living the greatest tragedy in our history,” said the management of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the largest in northern Greece. Nine students from this university have died.

Young people demand the truth despite the government's mea-culpa on the “chronic” failures of the rail network that led to the accident .

“We are filled with rage and cannot accept that such a tragic event could happen in 2023,” said student union president Angelos Thomopoulos, who said most universities remained closed on Friday.


Justice and the population want to understand why a train carrying 342 passengers and 10 railway workers was authorized to use the same single track linking Athens to Thessaloniki (north) as a convoy of goods.


The trains did not run on Thursday and Friday after a call for a strike by the railway unions. The call was renewed Friday for another 48 hours. The Athens metro has also planned to strike again on Sunday after a first strike on Thursday.

The president of the OSE train conductors' union, Kostas Genidounias, highlighted the safety breaches on the line incriminated.

Union representatives of the Hellenic Train railway company had sounded the alarm three weeks ago.

“We are not going to wait for the accident that will happen to see those responsible shed crocodile tears,” they warned.