Social Navigation

Greece: 3 other railway officials charged with fatal collision


Three more Greek rail officials have been charged in connection with a train crash that killed 57 people, as protests continued and the government promised to review rail safety


THESSALONIKI, Greece — Three more Greek rail officials were charged on Thursday in connection with a train crash that killed 57 people, as protests continued and the government promised to review rail safety.

Two station managers and a supervisor have been charged with endangering train safety resulting in death, a senior official involved in the investigation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, citing court policy. The three were summoned to provide additional testimony and were not detained.

The charges are similar to those brought against a 59-year-old station manager who was arrested following the February 28 crash in northern Greece and is currently in pre-trial detention.

Demonstrations in Athens and other cities continued on Thursday, following large rallies and strikes across the country a day earlier to protest the government’s response to the head-on collision along Greece’s main railway line, outside the northern city of Tempe.

The disaster involving a passenger train and a freight carrier delayed widely reported plans by Greece’s centre-right government to call a general election in early April.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis must hold elections before July. He pledged on Thursday to pursue immediate and longer-term safety improvements, including higher staffing levels and tighter supervision of staff along the rail network.

He repeated a public apology for the accident, but added that previous governments also shared responsibility for long-term rail safety shortcomings.

“I take my responsibilities. We can’t – we don’t want to and we don’t have to – hide behind a series of human errors,” he told a televised meeting of Cabinet ministers.

Popi Tsapanidou, spokesman for the main left-wing opposition party, Syriza, called the apology insincere. “Mr. Mitsotakis should realize that he did not become prime minister the day before yesterday,” she said. “He has been governing for four years.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.