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Passengers escape sunken bus in Athens. Prosecutor investigates (vid)

The public bus trapped under a bridge on the old Poseidonos Avenue in Athens Riviera remains stuck in the flood still 27 hours after the incident on Thursday noon. The water height is hardly down and thus only due to workers pumping water. A prosecutor ordered an investigation on Friday afternoon.

The bus on the route Piraeus-Voula got stuck under the bridge as a severe weather front was hitting Athens. In panic, the 27 passengers saw the water entering the bus and getting higher by each passing minute.

At some point they recovered from the shock and formed a human chain, helping elderly and mothers with children, to get off the bus and slwoly walk through the waters to safety.

A video recorded the passengers’ anxiety and their efforts to rescue themselves.

A voice is heard saying: “Kids, slowly and be careful. Is it better to stay on the bus? ”

A lady answers: “Let’s make a chain,” as the water floods the vehicle.

“Do you want to leave? Go away. I will sit here ” the same voice is heard saying. Another passenger says “I’m afraid to get off “and the camera turns to the other passengers who are trying to cross the road in the water.

According to the managing company OSY, the bus was operating normally and it was under the bridge close to Stavros Niarchos Foundation when within a few minutes a large volume of water from the adjacent construction works began to flood the road under the bridge. The flood set the vehicle engine out of operation. ‘Immediately and calmly, the driver disembarked the passengers and informed the Fire Brigade, as well as the competent service of the Company, OSY said in a statement adding that the driver took instructions via the OSY Vehicle Monitoring System and the Telematic system in cases of emergency.

Independently for the passengers who are assumingly well and safe in their homes and the obvious absence of draining gutters under the bridge, a prosecutor in Athens ordered an investigation on Friday afternoon to find out the causes that had the bus sunk and whether anti-flooding and draining measures were taken in time by all those responsible.

Worth noting that there is a big construction site along the Poseidonos Avenue in Neo Faliro and that tons of soil have been stable there for several months.

Speaking to Skai FM, the Regional Governor of Attica, who is also responsible for the construction, Giorgos Patoulis (NEW DEMOCRACY), said that the drainage project has not been completed yet. A bit later, and while he was speaking to Contra TV, he revealed that the project has not been completed because … the contractor gas gone bankrupt.

The former Regional Governor Rena Dourou (SYRIZA) accused Patoulis that it was he who ‘froze” the project.

In the nearby suburb of Nea Smyrni another contractor  had left soil and other material on a busy street for over a year as residents told media. The heavy rainfall Ballos on Thursday swept away the mountains of earth and the powerful ‘new stream’ crashed on several parked cars forming a new mountain made of iron and plastic this time.

Κακοκαιρία «Μπάλλος»: Σκηνικό χάους στη Νέα Σμύρνη - Απέραντοι λασπότοποι  οι δρόμοι της πόλης (εικόνες, βίντεο) - kakokairia «ballos»: skiniko chaous  sti nea smyrni - aperantoi laspotopoi oi dromoi tis polis (eikones, vinteo)

Κακοκαιρία «Μπάλλος»: Βούλιαξε η Νέα Σμύρνη και «επιπλέουν» ΙΧ ΒΙΝΤΕΟ - | Ειδήσεις νέα Πάτρα

The flood completely destroyed also a gym that happened to be located nearby.

EL - Καιρός – κακοκαιρία «Μπάλλος»: Βούλιαξε η Νέα Σμύρνη – ΙΧ το ένα πάνω  στο άλλο – Πλημμύρισε γυμναστήριο – Απίστευτες εικόνες

Residents told media that they have been calling the local authorities to remove the material since one year and nothing had happened.

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  1. Shame! The new government is too busy profiting from privatising the Athens coast ($$$) and pursuing unnecessary vanity projects to bother with abandoned dirt piles and flood drainage. The public can go hang.

  2. Greece’s environment, particularly the soils and vegetation, have been so poorly managed over the millennia that these heavy rainfall events create much more runoff, much more damage, than they ‘normally’ would IF the soils and vegetation were in better condition. There’s no getting away from this – it is a fact that needs to be addressed or the same thing will continue, probably get worse as both the climate, and poorly managed ‘development’, continue.