At least 40 people have been killed in a train crash in central Greece.
A passenger train traveling from Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki and a freight train traveling from Thessaloniki to Larissa collided head-on outside the town of Tempe. The passenger train was carrying 342 passengers and 10 staff.
Many of the victims were students in the first two carriages, which had taken the brunt of the impact and were almost entirely obliterated.
The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) reported that 50 to 60 people were still missing after the Tempe disaster.
Kostas Karamanlis, the Greek minister of transport, resigned, stating that it was “the least he could do to honor the memory of the victims” and lamenting the state’s “longstanding failures”
Karamanlis, who made the announcement after a visit to Tempe, emphasized the dilapidated condition of Greece’s railways, plainly stating that they belonged to another era.
“It is a fact that we took stock of the Greek railroads in a state that did not befit the 21st century. In these three and a half years [since the Kyriakos Mitsotakis administration assumed power], we have made every effort to improve this reality.
“Unfortunately, those efforts were not enough to prevent such an accident. And that’s why it weighs heavily on all of us and for me personally.”