57 lives lost in deadliest rail accident in Greece’s history

Less than a month after a train derailment in Ohio spilled chemicals in the town of East Palestine, two trains collided in Greece, resulting in 57 dead and over 80 injured — the deadliest rail accident in Greece’s history.

In the town of Tempe, 235 miles north of Athens, a freight train and a passenger train crashed head-on near midnight. The passenger train was carrying around 350 people and was traveling along Greece’s busiest passenger rail route: Athens to Thessaloniki. The impact of the high-speed crash caused several passenger cars to derail and sparked a fire that reached 2,370 Fahrenheit (1,300 Celsius).

The Greek government has declared three days of mourning for the tragedy. Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis resigned the day after and the station manager at Larissa was charged with negligent manslaughter. Demonstrations have started across the nation, as many blame the accident on a lack of maintenance of the Greek rail system.

Victims’ bodies were returned to their families in closed caskets and were identified through DNA matches, as they were rendered unrecognizable from the burns and missing limbs. Many passengers still remain unaccounted for, and recovery teams are still working at the site after five days.