ATHENS: A train derailment between the Greek cities of Athens and Thessaloniki killed at least 26 people on Tuesday night and left 85 injured, according to local fire officials.
“At least 26 people have been found dead so far,” a fire services spokesman said, adding that rescue operations were still ongoing.
“Eighty-five people were injured and transported to nearby hospitals.”
The spokesman confirmed that three carriages skipped the tracks near the town of Larissa, in the centre of the country, after a collision between two trains — one for freight and the other carrying 350 passengers.
One of the cars caught fire and several people were trapped inside, according to public television station ERT.
A major emergency response was launched, with police, 40 firefighters and around 30 ambulances dispatched to the scene, local media outlet Onlarissa reported.
According to the Skai television network, the region’s governor, Kostas Agorastos, announced that “more than 250 passengers were transferred to Thessaloniki by bus”.
“Unfortunately, the number of injured and dead could be high,” he added.
An emergency government meeting is in the works.
One passenger named Lazos told the newspaper Protothema that the experience had been “very shocking”.
“I wasn’t hurt, but I was stained with blood from other people who were hurt near me,” he said.