Rail accident in northern Greece

Monday, April 17, 2006

A rail accident occurred on Sunday night outside the town of Drama, northern Greece, having as a result the death of four people and the injury of 22. The Intercity train, which was operating the route from Thessaloniki to Alexandroupolis, had 65 passengers onboard and according the Hellenic Railway Organisation(OSE) the accident occurred when a truck driver attempted to drive through a grade crossing.

Forty people were transferred to the Hospital of Drama and 22 remain hospitalised; two of them to be in critical condition. The driver of the truck, Yannis Papadopoulos, 40, a police trainee and a kindergarten teacher were killed, however the police have not released the names of the last two.

OSE expressed its sorrow for the deaths and the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace visited the site of the accident and declared that the State acted immediately. However, this rail accident raises a question about the safety of the Hellenic Railways as well as the policies that the Greek Ministry of Transport should apply.