Transport Minister Resigning After Deadly Train Derailment

 March 3, 2023

Two trains slammed into each other this week in northern Greece, killing at least 36 people and smashing several carriages into twisted metal knots.

"Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis resigned, saying he felt it was his 'duty' to step down 'as a basic indication of respect for the memory of the people who died so unfairly,'" reported Breitbart.

"The cause of the crash near the Vale of Tempe, a river valley about 380 kilometers (235 miles) north of Athens, was not immediately clear, but the stationmaster in the nearby city of Larissa was arrested Wednesday. The police did not release his name. Another two people have been detained for questioning," according to Breitbart News.

"It’s unclear at what speed the passenger train and the freight train were travelling when they ran into each other just before midnight Tuesday, but survivors said the impact threw several passengers through the windows of train cars," according to Breitbart News. "State broadcaster ERT quoted rescuers saying they found some victims’ bodies 30-40 meters (100-130 feet) from the impact site."

A teen who survived the crash said that just before the crash there was sudden braking and sparks flew – and then there was a sudden stop.

"Our carriage didn’t derail, but the ones in front did and were smashed," he said.

The teen used a bag to break the window of his car to escape.

Stefanos Gogakos, a passenger who was in the last carriage, said the crash felt like an explosion, and he could see flames.

"The glass in the windows shattered and fell on top of us," Stefanos said. "My head hit the roof of the carriage with the jolt. Some people started to climb out through the windows because there was smoke in the carriage. The doors were closed but in a few minutes train staff opened them and we got out."

The government declared three days of national mourning from Wednesday, while flags flew at half-staff outside all European Commission buildings in Brussels.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the scene and said that the government must help identify the dead while also helping the injured recover.

"I can guarantee one thing: We will find out the causes of this tragedy and we will do all that’s in our power so that something like this never happens again," said Mitsotakis.

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou canceled a visit to Moldova to visit the scene, laying flowers beside the wreckage.

Pope Francis offered his condolences. The pontiff "sends the assurance of his prayers to everyone affected by this tragedy," the message read.

President Biden could learn a lot from watching Greek officials handle this tragedy.