PHOTO: 30 thousand people on the streets of Greece on the anniversary of the terrible train accident, molotov cocktails in front of the parliament

Photo: Profimedia

More than 30.000 people, according to police, protested in Greece today to mark a deadly train crash a year ago, a "national trauma" in the words of the prime minister who admitted a "collective failure" in the face of gross negligence.

There were more than 20.000 protesters in Athens. Some of them threw Molotov cocktails in front of the parliament, and police responded by throwing tear gas before the crowd dispersed, reports AFP. Also outside parliament, others wrote in red the names of the 57 people who died on February 28, 2023 in the deadliest collision in Greek history.

There were similar incidents in Thessaloniki, where according to the police, 10.000 people gathered. Greece is partially on strike at the call of the main public sector union ADEDI, which represents about half a million workers. Almost all traffic, from trains to subways, stops 24 hours a day.

At the scene of the Tempe Valley train crash, more than a thousand people – mostly family members of the victims, survivors and about two dozen rescuers – gathered in a heavy and sad atmosphere, according to AFP. Wreaths and photographs of the victims were left not far from the railway tracks by tearful parents.

On February 28, 2023, before midnight, a passenger train connecting Athens with Thessaloniki collided head-on with a freight train more than 300 kilometers north of the Greek capital. During the 19 minutes before the accident, two trains, one of which was carrying more than 350 passengers, were moving along the same track without activating the alarm system.

A few hours after the accident in February 2023, the head of the station was arrested. Since then, dozens have been charged in connection with the case, which is currently under investigation by a local judge. The government says the trial is likely to begin in June.

But many survivors and relatives of the victims say politicians, who under Greek law are protected from prosecution and can only be investigated by parliament, should also take responsibility for the security system's failings.

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