Riot police beat people and fired tear gas and sound flares at students who gathered outside the headquarters of Hellenic Train in Athens on Wednesday to protest the deadly train crash in Tempi and commemorate the victims, most of them students returning home after a long weekend.
Angry protesters smashed some windows of the Hellenic Train HQ, the company managing the country’s passenger trains, and later marched to Syntagma square in downtown Athens, where again clashed with police.
Protests were also held in Thessaloniki and the city of Larissa, near where the disaster happened on Tuesday night.
Protesters outside the main train station of Thessaloniki.
Protesters formed the word “CRIME” with tea candles.
Intercity IC 62 with 342 passengers and 10 crew members on board crashed with a speed of 160 km/h head on with a freight train with 2 crew members, causing the front carriages to burst into flames.
Three of the front wagons of the passenger train were destroyed. Firefighters continue to remove bodies and dismembered body parts also on Thursday morning.
The majority of the train passengers were students in their 20s returning home or to universities in Thessaloniki and other cities in central and northern Greece after a long weekend celebrating the end of Carnival and the begin of the Easter Lent.
According to state broadcaster ERT, 80% of the dead are aged 18 to 30.
Thursday morning, authorities announced that the number of confirmed deaths is 47.
There are fears, that the number of passengers was higher than initially thought.
More protests are scheduled for Thursday evening.
*more protests pictures & videos here.