King Charles, President Biden Express Condolences to Greece in Wake of Deadliest Train Crash

Charles, Biden Express Condolences to Greece after deadliest train crash

The King of the United Kingdom, Charles III, and the United States president, Joe Biden, have both expressed their condolences to Greece following the country's deadliest train crash in at least six decades.

A head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train occurred on February 28, in Tempi near Larissa, resulting in the deaths of at least 57 people and leaving many others injured.

The majority of passengers were young people, and 48 people remain in hospital, with six in critical condition.

Relatives of the remaining 56 missing are still awaiting news regarding their loved ones as the identification process continues.

King Charles III and President Biden were among many world leaders who have reached out to Greece to offer their sympathies.

The British monarch sent a letter to Greece's president expressing his deep sorrow, while President Biden posted a message on Twitter.

A message of condolence from The King to the President of Greece following the train crash in Northern Greece

Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with all those who have been affected by this appalling tragedy.

My wife and I have been most shocked and profoundly saddened by the news of the dreadful accident involving two trains in Northern Greece and would like to express our deepest possible condolences to the families of all those who have so tragically lost their lives.

During our visits to Greece we have always been struck by the kindness and generosity of the Greek people and our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with all those who have been affected by this appalling tragedy.

Charles R.

The US Secretary of State also spoke with his Greek counterpart to express his support.

Greece's prime minister declared a three-day national mourning period, and political parties suspended their election campaigns. The official death toll has risen to 46, with some passengers still in the hospital, and rescue efforts continue.

The rising death toll has led to widespread anger over poor railway safety.

Demonstrations have taken place in Athens, and the Greek transport minister resigned in the wake of the tragedy. A rail workers union has also gone on strike, accusing the government of “disrespect” in the sector, saying “There are no words to describe such tragedy.”

The incident was attributed to human error, with the 59-year-old Larissa station manager being charged with disruption of public transport safety, manslaughter, and bodily injuries by negligence. The station manager reportedly took some responsibility for the disaster but stated that other factors were also involved.

"He is literally devastated. Since the first moment, he has assumed responsibility proportionate to him," said the station master’s lawyer Stefanos Pantzartzidis, hinting that the station master, who has not been publicly named, was not the only one to blame.

Greek transport minister Kostas Karamanlis said the railway system the government inherited was “not up to 21st century standards” as he stepped down from his role Wednesday after visiting the crash site.

In a televised address after visiting the crash site, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the collision was “mainly” due “to tragic human error.”

He said the transport minister’s decision to resign was honourable, and added that the heads of Hellenic Railways Organization and its subsidiary ERGOSE have also submitted their resignations.

The prosecutor's office is investigating the incident to identify all those responsible.

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