Audio released of train driver being told to ignore red light angers Greece

train collision larissa greece

Anger in Greece over poor railway safety grew on Thursday, as authorities released audio in which a train driver involved in one of the country’s worst train crashes in recent years was told to ignore a red light.

Demonstrators poured onto the streets after the head-on collision between a passenger train carrying more than 350 people and a freight train on Tuesday evening in Tempi, near the city of Larissa. The death toll from the crash rose to 57 late on Thursday.

Protesters clashed with police in the capital Athens, the country’s transport minister resigned in the wake of the tragedy and a rail workers’ union is going on strike, accusing the government of “disrespect” in the sector.

Another 48 people remain in hospital as a result of the crash, which left toppled carriages and scorched debris in its wake. Six of the injured being treated are in critical condition due to head wounds and serious burns, public broadcaster ERT reported Thursday.

After a train station manager in Larissa was arrested in connection to the collision, Greek authorities on Thursday made public striking dispatch recordings that show one of the train drivers receiving instructions to ignore a red light.

“Proceed through red traffic light exit until traffic light entry of Neon Poron,” the station master is heard saying.

“Vasilis, am I good to go?” the train driver responds, to which the train master says “Go, go.”

In a second conversation, the station master can be heard ordering an employee to keep one of the trains on the same track.

“Shall I turn it now?” the employee asks.

“No, no, because 1564 is on this route,” the station master says.

The station master has been charged with mass deaths through negligence and causing grievous bodily harm through negligence. Upon arrest he blamed the collision on a technical fault, though later admitted to “making a mistake.”

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024