Greece train crash: Two carriages of train in 'nightmare' collision 'no longer exist' as more than 45 people killed

    TEMPE, Greece — A head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train flattened carriages, killed at least 45 people and injured some 85

Greek officials said Wednesday, with the death toll expected to rise.

The cause of the crash 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.

Before dawn the next day, rescuers searched through smoking wreckage for survivors. What appeared to be the third carriage lay atop the twisted remains of the first two.

At least 45 people died and dozens more were injured in the head-on collision between two trains near the city of Larissa on Tuesday night.

The front carriages of a passenger train involved were mostly destroyed.

"We heard a big bang," said 28-year-old passenger Stergios Minenis, who jumped to safety from the wreckage.

"We were turning over in the carriage until we fell on our sides and until the commotion stopped. Then there was panic. Cables, fire. The fire was immediate. As we were turning over we were being burned. Fire was right and left," Mr Minenis was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

"For 10, 15 seconds it was chaos. Tumbling over, fires, cables hanging, broken windows, people screaming, people trapped."

The passenger train had been travelling from Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki when it crashed head-on with the other freight train, causing the front carriages to burst into flames, shortly before midnight local time.

It is being described as the worst train crash Greece has ever seen.

275 Rescue workers are in a desperate search for survivors after a head-on collision between two trains in central Greece killed dozens of people and injured scores.   
At least 45 people were killed and more than 85 injured when a passenger train carrying more than 350 people collided with a freight train on Tuesday evening, shortly before midnight, in Tempi, central Greece, near the city of Larissa, the Greek Fire Service said.

“We just heard a bang… the (train) car started spinning, before ending up sideways when we managed to exit,” one male passenger told Greek public broadcaster ERT.“It was 10 nightmarish seconds with fire, you couldn’t see much from the smoke,” said a second passenger.Recovery efforts are underway and the death toll is expected to rise, the Greek Fire Service said.

The passenger train had been traveling from the capital Athens to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, which is renowned for its festivals and vibrant cultural life. The collision follows a nationwide carnival at the weekend which ended with a public holiday on Monday.

One train passenger told Greek broadcaster SKAI: "There was panic in the carriage, people were screaming."

Another survivor was interviewed by the ERT network, saying: "We just heard a bang...the [train] car started spinning, before ending up sideways when we managed to exit."

A third passenger told reporters outside Thessaloniki station: "All I personally remember is feeling a very strong braking and suddenly, I see sparks and flames on the sides of the windows. And then a sudden stop.

"This made us all panic and we just wanted to get out as soon as possible so we tried to break the window glass. Some guys who were near windows—we broke them, we got out. It was a chaotic situation in front of us."

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