The fatal mistake of the Larissa station master with the key he forgot to turn, sent the two trains on a journey of death on the same tracks.
It was Tuesday February 28th shortly after eleven at night when time stood still…
The passenger train running the Athens-Thessaloniki route collided head-on with a commercial train traveling in the opposite direction. The train, with more than 340 passengers and ten staff members, found itself in the downdraft due to the criminal error of the station master.
The conflict was fierce. A fire broke out, as a result of which the first wagons were not only turned into an amorphous mass, but also melted, since temperatures of 1,300 degrees Celsius were developed.
Experts point out that if the collision had happened a few seconds earlier in the tunnel – about 50 to 100 meters from the point of the collision – no one would have been saved.
The tragic account…
57 dead – 2 unidentified
38 injured hospitalized, of which 7 in Intensive Care Units
The “Tunnel” dealt on Friday, March 3, with this deadly tragedy, presenting evidence, mistakes by decision-makers and the warning “bells” of danger, which have been ringing loudly lately, but no one was listening to them.
Emotion was caused by the intervention on the show of the companion of the missing person until late Friday night, student of the AUTH, Anastasios Koutsopoulos, 21 years old.
Finally, a few hours later, his own body was also identified… Anastassis, another corpse on the Tempe blacklist…
Marietta Alexandri appealed to passengers, but also to those who saw Anastasis getting off at Larissa station for a cigarette, to contact the show.
She asked to check the footage from the cameras, in order to see which carriage he boarded.
The unfortunate student who was going from Karditsa to Thessaloniki, had last contact with his mother at 22:48, shortly before the tragedy. He told her “mom I will be late, sleep”.
The station master was remanded in custody…
The Larissas stationmaster took the road to prison, immediately after completing his long-hour apology on Sunday, March 5, for the tragedy in Tempi.
An investigator and a prosecutor ordered the pre-trial detention of the 59-year-old employee, judging his role on the fateful night as decisive, in order to drive the passenger train onto the wrong railway line, specifically the descent one.
He himself, after several evasions, in the end indirectly admitted his responsibility, which he attributed to the “bad time” and the workload he had at the critical moment from another train stationed in Larissa.
He had previously tried unsuccessfully to attribute the crash to a system failure, which did not work when he pressed the “key” to change the trajectory.
However, the traffic police went with an expert and had another employee do the same procedure repeatedly, establishing the perfect operation of the system, which they also videotaped.
When they presented the evidence to the defendant, he asked for a lawyer to finally admit his mistake. The complaints that exist and were also heard in the “Tunnel”, talk about an inexperienced station master who was placed by political means in this post, a few days before the tragic accident.
At the same time, the OSE announced in an announcement that the 59-year-old station master’s supervisor was also put on holiday.
The charges against him…
The station master faces criminal charges.
The prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Isidoros Dogiakos, ordered an in-depth investigation in every direction with the immediate gathering of all evidence, so as to identify others responsible, who appear to exist.
Complaints before the tragedy…
April 27, 2022:
The security manager of ERGOSE resigns, denouncing serious security deficiencies in the operation of the railways.
February 7, 2023:
Complaint by trade unionists about serious safety deficiencies in connection with accidents that have occurred on the network.
February 15, 2023:
The Commission abandons Greece, as it did not fulfill its obligations regarding the Single European railway network and entrusted its security to the private initiative.
February 20, 2023:
The now former Minister of Transport, Kostas Karamanlis, is excommunicated in the Parliament because the opposition abandons him for the low safety of the railway network.
February 28, 2023:
The president of the train drivers of the OSE, Kostas Genidounias, in a post on Social Media, lists the problems and shortcomings in view of the Prime Minister’s visit to the Signaling Remote Control Center in Thessaloniki. The same night the fatal accident happened…