Dozens Injured as Two Trains Collide in Northern Greece, Sparking Rescue Operation and Raising Questions About Rail Safety

Greece, ATHENS, March 1 

On Tuesday afternoon, two passenger trains collided in northern Greece, resulting in serious injuries and necessitating an extensive rescue operation. The accident happened near Drama when one train traveling from Alexandroupolis to Thessaloniki collided with another that had stopped at a station. Although the exact cause of the collision remains unknown, it appears to have been an act of God.

The site of a crash, near the city of Larissa, Greece, on March 1, 2023. IMG Source: REUTERS/Giannis Floulis
The site of a crash, near the city of Larissa, Greece, on March 1, 2023. IMG Source: REUTERS/Giannis Floulis

Emergency services were dispatched to the scene to aid the injured and transport them to nearby hospitals. The Greek government declared a state of emergency in the region and mobilized all available resources to respond. Due to the collision, train services have been disrupted in the region; passengers are being encouraged to seek alternate forms of transportation.

This incident has raised serious doubts about the safety and upkeep of Greece’s rail network, which has come under criticism in recent years for its outdated infrastructure and inadequate investment. Although the government has promised to upgrade and improve rail safety protocols, progress has been slow due to budget restrictions and other obstacles.

This collision is likely to ignite a renewed debate about the role of rail travel in an increasingly dependent world that relies on air and road transportation. While trains are usually considered safe and eco-friendly modes of transport, accidents like this one highlight potential risks and challenges associated with rail travel.

As the investigation into the cause of the collision continues, it is evident that it has had a devastating effect on those affected and wider society. Whatever conclusions are reached and any changes to rail safety policies and practices, all those who rely on train travel in Greece and beyond will be closely watching its developments.

Some Ref.: Comments from Reuters

“We are living through a tragedy. We are pulling out people alive, injured…there are dead. We are going to be here all night until we finish until we find the last person,” a volunteer rescue worker told ERT state broadcaster.

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

“It was like an earthquake,” Angelos Tsiamouras, another passenger, told ERT.

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

“They were traveling at great speed and one (driver) didn’t know the other was coming,” the governor said.

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