Greece train crash: 57 confirmed dead, as public outrage grows

According to a coroner, the death toll from Tuesday’s train crash in Greece has risen to 57.

Eleni Zaggelidou, one of ten coroners involved in the investigation, stated that DNA was extracted from 57 intact bodies.

Meanwhile, a government minister stated that austerity during Greece’s economic crisis in the 2000s contributed to a lack of railway investment.

Following the disaster, rail workers went on strike for one day on Thursday, blaming government negligence.

More than 2,000 people protested for a second day in Athens and Thessaloniki, shocked by the disaster near Larissa on Tuesday.

“We are angry at the company, the government, and previous governments for doing nothing to improve conditions on the Greek railway,” said Athens pensioner Stavros Nantis.

Rescue workers are still searching for victims in burned and buckled carriages.

This was the “most difficult moment”, rescuer Konstantinos Imanimidis told Reuters news agency, because “instead of saving lives, we have to recover bodies”.

The crash occurred shortly before midnight on Tuesday. After both trains ended up on the same track, a passenger train carrying 350 people collided with a freight train, causing the front carriages to burst into flames.

The railway workers’ strike began at 0600 local time (0400 GMT), affecting national rail services as well as Athens’ subway.

Many in Greece see the crash as an accident waiting to happen, and the union blamed successive governments’ “disrespect” towards Greek railways for leading to this “tragic result”.

During a visit to a hospital where relatives of the missing had gathered, Greece’s Deputy Minister of Health, Zoe Rapti, told the BBC that the Greek debt crisis around 2010, which resulted in drastic austerity measures in exchange for a financial rescue from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, had made investing in the rail network more difficult.

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