Carnage after trains collide near Greek city of Larissa


BBC reported: Two trains have collided in northern Greece with the loss of at least 32 lives and dozens of people injured, emergency services say.

Rescuers have been working through the night to try to free passengers who were on one of the trains when it crashed near the city of Larissa.

The train said to be carrying some 350 passengers hit a freight train.

Footage published on local news sites showed thick plumes of smoke rising from derailed carriages.

Around 150 firefighters and 40 ambulances were at the scene, the fire service said.

It is not yet known what caused the collision with the passenger train, which was travelling between Thessaloniki and Larissa.

“We heard a big bang,” passenger Stergios Minenis was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

“It was a nightmarish ten seconds. We were turning over in the carriage until we fell on our sides and until the commotion stopped. Then there was panic. Cables, fire. The fire was immediate.

“As we were turning over we were being burned. Fire was right and left… For ten, fifteen seconds it was chaos. Tumbling over, fires, cables hanging, broken windows, people screaming, people trapped. It was two metres high from where we jumped to leave and beneath there was broken iron debris but what could we do?”

Another passenger named Angelos Tsiamouras told local media the crash had felt like an earthquake.

Another passenger named Lazos told Protothema newspaper the experience had been “very shocking”.

“It was a very powerful collision,” the regional governor of the Thessaly region, Kostas Agorastos, told state-run television in quotes cited by AP news agency. “This is a terrible night… It’s hard to describe the scene.”

Conditions for rescue workers were “very difficult” because of “the severity of the collision”, fire service spokesman Vassilis Varthakoyiannis told