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Rescue operation underway after passenger train carrying 350 people collided with a freight train near the center of Larissa.
At least 16 people have been killed and dozens injured in a head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train in Greece.
The crash occurred outside the central city of Larissa late Tuesday when a passenger train bound for Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki collided with a freight train traveling from Thessaloniki to Larissa.
The fire service says the circumstances of the accident are still unclear. At least 85 people were injured and rescue teams searched for survivors in the wreckage that lined the track.
“The collision was very strong,” Konstantinos Agorastos, the governor of the region of Thessaly, told SKAI TV, adding that the first four carriages of the passenger train were derailed, while the first two carriages were “almost completely destroyed”.
Agorastos said about 250 passengers had been safely evacuated by buses to Thessaloniki.
SKAI showed images of derailed and crushed carriages and freight containers, with debris scattered across the road. Rescue workers used powerful flares in carriages to search for trapped passengers.
There was a major disaster going on involving the police and fire brigade. About 30 ambulances had been sent to the scene, local media outlet Onlarissa reported.
“There was panic in the carriage, people were screaming,” a young man who was evacuated to a nearby bridge told SKAI TV.
A passenger named Lazos told Protothema newspaper that the experience had been “very shocking”.
“I was not injured, but I was stained with blood from other people who have been injured near me,” he said.
Local media reported that some 350 people were on the train.
“The evacuation of passengers is underway under very difficult circumstances given the severity of the collision of the two trains,” fire spokesman Vassilis Varthakogiannis said in a televised address.