Two weeks after the tragedy, a collision between two trains which killed 57 people, the first conclusions are in place. The Greek railways regulator (RAS) has observed “serious” shortcomings in the security of the management of the railway network.
This independent authority underlined that according to its first conclusions, “the training of personnel by the Greek Railway Organization, which manages the railways, was incomplete and therefore inadequate”, in particular that of station managers. After investigating the “training of staff in the traffic sector which included the station master involved in the accident”, the regulator found that it “could not be proven” that he had completed ” their theoretical and practical training.
A dilapidated railway network
The station manager of Larissa, a town close to the deadly accident, is in pre-trial detention after admitting his responsibility for the accident on the evening of February 28. It was this 59-year-old man, presented as inexperienced by the Greek authorities, who allegedly made the mistake of letting a passenger train and a freight convoy run on the same track for several kilometers without reacting, causing a head-on collision between both trains.
He was charged five days after the crash while three other OSE employees are also being charged. The railway regulator has decided “unanimously to take emergency action due to serious indications of breaches of railway law, which poses a serious threat to public safety”, according to the statement.
In addition to the responsibility of this station master, the dilapidated state of the rail network, the delays in the modernization of signaling and security systems, have been singled out to explain this rail disaster which has raised a wave of indignation in Greece.