Greece has seen a rise in protests following the 43-person fatal train tragedy, which many believe was an accident waiting to happen.
At the Hellenic Train headquarters in Athens, the organization in charge of maintaining Greece’s railways, rioters and police engaged in physical altercations.
Along with Larissa, which is close to where the catastrophe occurred on Tuesday night, protests were also organized in Thessaloniki.
According to the administration, justice will be served by an impartial investigation.
Following the event, in which a passenger train collided head-on with a freight train, setting the front coaches ablaze, the government has announced three days of national mourning.
The passenger train’s front coaches were largely wrecked.
What is now known about the Greek train accident
images of the destruction while many were killed
Students in their 20s returning to Thessaloniki from a long weekend spent commemorating Greek Orthodox Lent made up a large portion of the 350 people on board.
“Tragic human error,” according to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, was to blame for the catastrophe.
A station master in Larissa, age 59, has been accused of manslaughter by carelessness. He has said he did nothing wrong and put the blame for the incident on a technical issue.
Members of the rail union feel that despite repeated warnings over a long period of time, safety measures were not functioning effectively.
Rail workers are preparing to strike on Thursday in protest and mourning over what they claim is government neglect of the railways.
The employees’ union announced the strike by stating that “pain has turned into anger” over the numerous dead and injured coworkers and neighbors.
“The contempt exhibited over the years by governments to the Greek railways led to the unfortunate conclusion,” it continued in remarks published by the Reuters news agency.
Kostas Karamanlis, the transport minister, resigned in response to the accident, pledging to accept responsibility for the government’s “long-standing failures” to upgrade a railway system he claimed was unfit for the twenty-first century.
Nonetheless, a banner stating that any systemic faults will be covered up in the current official investigation was displayed outside a hospital where the remains of the train crash victims were being taken. One protester expressed his belief that the tragedy had just been a matter of time during a silent vigil held in Larissa on Wednesday to remember those who perished in the incident.
Nikos Savva, a medical student from Cyprus, told the AFP news agency that the rail system was unstable and that its crew was underpaid and worn out.
The station master who was detained shouldn’t have to pay “for a complete broken system,” he continued.
“This accident is not acceptable. This problem has been known to us for 30 years “Costas Bargiotas, a physician with a practice in Larissa, told AFP.
Also, a vigil was staged in front of the Hellenic Railway offices in Athens. Later that day, situations in the same location got violent as police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators who were throwing rocks and starting fires in the streets.
Rescuers once more labored through the night at the scene of the deadliest train crash the nation has ever seen.
Relatives have started showing up at a neighboring hospital to donate DNA samples in an effort to identify their missing loved ones.
But as additional bodies from those who were at the front of the passenger train, where they took the full brunt of the crash and the subsequent fire that tore through their compartments, are found, the procedure will become more and more challenging.
Fire brigade spokeswoman Vassilis Varthakogiannis claimed temperatures inside the first carriage had reached 1,300C (2,370F), which made it “impossible to identify the victims who were inside”.