ATHENS – Thousands of motorists stuck for hours in wintry conditions on the Greek capital’s biggest ring road will be paid 2,000 euros ($2257) by the management of Attiki Odos after Prime Minister Kyriakis Mitsotakis pressed them over a failure to respond to them.
Kathimerini said the company agreed after getting a call from Mitsotakis about why so many people were caught on the major toll road with no reports whether plows had been activated.
Rescue crews were sent to save people and worked through the night of Jan. 24 after the storm hit, although it had been predicted for days and still seemed to catch drivers and the state’s response system offguard.
More than 3,500 people had been evacuated,, some abandoning their cars on foot, but around 1,200 cars remained stuck on the Attiki Odos, the capital’s main ring-road, government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou said.
“We had a very difficult night and a superhuman evacuation effort is under way on Attiki Odos,” Oikonomou told Greek television. “We are still in a very difficult phase, as the forecasts indicate that we will face (weather) difficulties again in a while,” he said.
The New Democracy government sent soldiers to hand out foot, water and blankets to drivers shivering in freezing temperatures, some there for more than 10 hours, with TV footage showing the unfolding icy drama.
The snow turned to ice across the capital the next morning, with schools and public offices closed and most businesses shut, apart from supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations in the Athens area and some islands, said Reuters.
Parts of Athens were hit by power cuts, and the grid operator said crews were working to restore electricity and 15 passengers were injured when a rail transport vehicle tried to pull a train carrying about 200 passengers which had halted in heavy snow in central Greece, the news agency said.
Attiki Odos Announcement
Attiki Odos intends to compensate each vehicle that was trapped on the highway due to the heavy snow with 2,000 euros, the company revealed in an announcement on Tuesday. “After the unprecedented and dense snowstorm that occurred in Attica on Monday and with a feeling of tangible solidarity with the drivers and passengers that suffered hardship on the Attiki Odos road network, Attiki Odos is going to offer for each trapped vehicle 2,000 euros,” the company said.
The technical details of the procedure will be announced later when all the vehicles have been recorded by the responsible authorities,” clarified the company.
“Right up to this moment, Attiki Odos’ staff are continuing to operate along the police, the army and the fire brigade, to whom we express our thanks, to untrap the last vehicles and their passengers with safety in adverse weather condtions. After the very last driver has been extricated, the company will make statements about the facts and the responsibilities of each body involved.