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Mitsotakis on train crash: “Tragedy primarily due to human error”

In unprecedented fast track procedure and despite the ongoing investigation, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis came to the conclusion that the train crash was due to human error.

In his address to the nation 20 hours after the deadly collision in central Greece, PM Mitsotakis announced:

“Everything points to the fact that the tragedy is, unfortunately, primarily down to a tragic human error.”

But Mitsotakis is a politician and thus one heading for elections. So he doesn’t really care if he f*cks logic – excuse my French.

In his address, he first announced his conclusion based on the arrest of the station master and then that an Independent Experts Committee will be formed with the aim to investigate the causes of the railway accident that has killed at least 43 people – so the unofficial number on Wednesday evening.

Theoretically he might be right. Then the absence of safety system in the two trains that they were on the same track and on collision route for 12 whole minutes might have been indeed “an error” however, committed by several humans in the last 23 years.

I have just returned from the site of a tragedy that will forever remain in our collective memory. Tens of our fellow Greeks, most of them young people, lost their lives there, in a terrible rail accident that is unprecedented in the history of our country,” said Mitsotakis in his address.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the men and women of our state mechanism that mobilized immediately. Firefighters and rescuers, ambulance workers, Police, members of the local authority, as well as doctors, nurses, and psychologists in our hospitals. They have done and continue to do the very best the can under difficult conditions,” he said, adding that “I met with relatives of the victims and the missing at the Larissa Hospital. In their unspeakable pain, with great dignity, they asked me ‘why’. And they said to me, ‘never again’. We owe them an honest reply.”

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis, assuming the objective political responsibility, immediately tended his resignation. So did the heads of Hellenic Railways Organization and its project branch ERGOSE. His stance does him credit, as everything points to the fact that the tragedy is, unfortunately, primarily down to a tragic human error.

Minister of State Georgios Gerapetritis will serve, until the national elections, as a transitional Transport Minister. I have already asked him to quickly form an independent and crossbench Experts Committee that will fully investigate the causes behind the accident. But it will also examine the longstanding delays in implementing railway projects. At the same time, Justice will do its own job. Responsibilities will be assigned. The state will stand by the families of the victims. We will mourn our children, our siblings, our friends. We will stand united in the face of this tragedy, and then, with our head bowed, we will grit our teeth. We will work to ensure that the ‘never again’ heard in Larissa does not become empty words. I promise you,” the Greek Premier concluded.

Many Greeks comment on social media that the PM’s address was “immoral” and accused him of “insulting the victims and their relatives.”

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4 comments

  1. The human “error” being completely neglecting the electronic warning and guiding system for years and ignoring the pleas to do something about it. Instead, a station manager gets the blame.

  2. Its obvious that in this day and age entrusting the lives of 100s and 1000s of people to the “best effort” manual actions of station masters (without basic electronic backup) is the massive Human Error of the powers that be.

  3. This is not the first time a large number of students have been killed in the Tempe area. The last time was a collision between a coach and a truck carrying sheets of wood. Given how close it is to Mount Olympus, perhaps Mitsotakis should blame the Gods for blighting the lives of ordinary people.

  4. The first priority of the Government is the care and safety of its people. It is clear that successive governments have ignored this tenet and have got away with it thanks to sheer luck.

    I have some admiration for the Minister who resigned and sympathy for the station master.

    We will now be treated to the usual sorry spectacle of those in power playing the blame game instead of admitting their obvious and criminal failures for so long that have resulted in deaths and injuries to so many valuable young persons.

    I offer my condolences to their families and my heartfelt disgust to those who turned their backs.