The station master, implicated in a fatal error which led to the rail collision in Greece which killed 57 people on Tuesday March 1, was placed in pre-trial detention on Sunday March 5, a judicial Source told AFP.

Iran Press/Europe: This 59-year-old man, who admitted his responsibility, is charged for his alleged responsibility in “the death of a large number of people”a crime punishable by a sentence ranging from ten years in prison to life, according to the Greek Penal Code.

Violent clashes pitted police and demonstrators in Athens on Sunday on the sidelines of a rally after the train disaster, which sparked outrage across the country despite the Prime Minister’s mea culpa.

Vassilis Samaras, 59, whose identity has been revealed by the Ministry of Transport, has admitted responsibility for the head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight convoy, which found themselves on the same track.

But the demonstrators, Sunday in Athens, demanded that the responsibilities be sought in the presumed state of dilapidation of the railway equipment, which left the fate of the passengers in the hands of an inexperienced station master.

“Down with murderous governments!", “It was not human error!," we read on the banners brandished by the some 12,000 people who shouted their anger on Syntagma Square, the large esplanade in front of the Parliament of the Greek capital.

Prime Minister asks for “forgiveness”

Most of the victims were young people and students returning to Thessaloniki, the major university city, after a long weekend. On television, heartbreaking images of parents in tears, desperately waiting in front of a hospital for information on the fate of their children, also contributed to casting shame on the authorities and their management deemed calamitous of this disaster.

In a statement, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said "we cannot, will not, and must not hide behind human error," as per the CNN report. In a statement issued on Sunday, Mitsotakis stressed that it should not be possible for two trains moving in opposite directions "to be on the same track and not be noticed by anyone."

On Sunday morning, before a religious ceremony at the Orthodox Cathedral in Athens, Conservative Prime Minister Mitsotakis asked the families of the victims for forgiveness in a solemn address.

The Greek Transport Minister had resigned after the train collision. Greek Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis said the railway system inherited by the government is "not up to 21st century standards" as he resigned from his post.

Negligence and shortcomings in the railways

Protesters released hundreds of black balloons to pay tribute to the victims. This tragedy aroused immense anger at the negligence and shortcomings in the railways. And the Athenian rally, the fourth since the accident, degenerated into violent incidents.

“We feel immense rage!," summarized in the procession Michalis Hasiotis, president of the union of chartered accountants. “The greed, the lack of measures taken for the protection of passengers has led to the worst rail tragedy in our country”.

The lack of experience of the station master has indeed been denounced since the day after the tragedy. According to Greek media, he had received only a short training before finding himself alone as station master, while traffic on this line was intense due to a long weekend.

According to a judicial source, the investigation also aims “to initiate criminal proceedings, if necessary, against members of the company’s management” Hellenic Train, Greek Railways.


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