Appearing on SKAI television on Friday to talk about the procedures following after the train disaster in Tempi, Health Minister Thanos Plevris noted that all the work to record the passengers killed or injured in the crash was done by EKAV ambulance crews, with no help from the company.
"Everything was done by EKAV rescuers, who recorded the injured, there was no help from the company. There was no one from the company in the hospitals to help us," he said. He also clarified that the coroner had collected the remains and body parts of 57 dead and, as these were identified, they were taken off the list of those missing.
"The number of dead is not added to that of those missing," he clarified.
Regarding his decision to have all dead bodies sent to one hospital, he said this was to avoid the families having to go to different hospitals to identify their loved ones.
"We handed out the list of the injured whom we had identified so that relatives could read it and, unfortunately, if their own people were not on this list then it was very likely they were among the dead," he said.
Plevris said that there were six teams of psychologists to inform relatives and friends. Regarding the 48 people that are still in hospital, he said six were in a serious condition and had been intubated.
The minister described the harrowing first moments after the accident, during his visit to the crash site and then at the hospitals, as parents and family members started to arrive to look for missing loved ones.
"I saw parents looking for children. Everyone was waiting to see what was coming in terms of the injured. As time went by, the psychiatrists tried to explain to them that if they had not come into contact and they were not on the list of injured, things were not good," he said.
The task of identifying the dead would continue on Friday as relatives were still arriving, he added, noting that the process of DNA identification was particularly difficult for grieving parents: "There were parents that wanted to go down to the bodies and said 'I will recognise my child'. We had to explain that the bodies were unrecognisable and that this had to be done by DNA testing, a process that involves some delay."
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