Greece train crash tragedy: Calls for accountability and safety measures amidst protests
Menahil Haider takes a look at the profound impact Greece train accident has had on the nation.
A tragic train crash in central Greece has claimed the lives of at least 57 people after a passenger train collided head-on with a cargo train and burst into flames. Survivors who witnessed the horrific crash continue to recall the nightmarish seconds that changed their lives forever. The cause of the collision is currently under investigation.
Many of the 350 passengers on board were students in their twenties returning to Thessaloniki after a long weekend celebrating Greek Orthodox Lent. The incident has sparked growing protests and deep grief among families of the victims. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Greece, and workers went on strike in the biggest show of public anger yet over the country's deadliest train disaster.
Chris Andre Boxing took to Twitter and said, "this is Angelos Tsiamouras, 18; & Andreas Alikaniotis, 20. They were in the train crash in Greece. They survived the impact & rushed towards the front carriages, which were a blazing inferno. They smashed the windows & climbed in! Angelos saved 16 lives & Andreas 10."
"40 people have died so far from the train crash that happened in Greece. Most of them were kids that were returning to their homes after the carnival holidays. Many will stay paralysed forever. Both the current & the past government are responsible. We will not forget!," @AegeanNative tweeted.
Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis later resigned over the disaster, saying he would take responsibility for the authorities' "long-standing failures" to fix a railway system he said was not fit for the 21st century. Police say they have charged the 59-year-old station master for the city of Larissa with causing deaths by negligence and grievous bodily harm by negligence.
"Despite resignation of relevant Minister after train accident in which 57 people lost their lives in #Greece, reactions are growing. Greek people gathered in various parts of the country, chanting slogan 'Government of the murderers resign'," said Jenny Max.
Despite the resignation and charges, protests are growing, with many people chanting slogans calling for the government's resignation. Violence briefly broke out during the protests, with clashes between protesters and riot police, and some protesters setting a van and rubbish bins on fire.
More than 40,000 people marched to parliament in central Athens alone, chanting "Murderers!" and "We are all in the same carriage."
"Large protest in Athens, Greece over train crash tragedy. Massive demonstration in Athens where tens of thousands of people protest the #GreeceTrainCrash, chanting it was no accident, but rather a 'government crime'," Senior Producer at National News Channel, Chaudhary Parvez wrote in a tweet.
George Roussos took to social media, saying "Pain has turned into anger for the dozens of dead & wounded" - Greece train crash: Rail workers strike as anger over crash grows. The walkout follows protests in Athens, Thessaloniki and the city of Larissa, near the site of the disaster.
The disaster has left a profound impact on Greece and its people as they come together to grieve and demand accountability for their nation's deadliest train crash, serving as a stark reminder of the need for governments to prioritise infrastructure maintenance and safety to prevent such tragedies from occurring.