Greek Stationmaster During Fatal Trash Crash Wasn’t Trained Properly

ATHENS – Training given to a Greek stationmaster on duty only four days who was the first charged after a head-on train collision killed 57 people was “both incomplete and inadequate,” the Regulatory Authority for Railways (RAS) said.

It is one of four bodies running and overseeing the railroads in Greece and said the 59-year-old stationmaster identified in some media as Vassilis Samaras was supposed to have gotten theoretical and practical training.

He is awaiting trial on charges of alleged negligence and reckless homicide and three others have been detained but no higher-ranking managers nor former Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who resigned immediately afterward.

RAS said that the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) should not use of the other staff allegedly receiving training in the same course without indicating what they were taught or not.

RAS said that its investigation couldn’t confirm those taking the the course received correct and complete theoretical and practical training, which met the standards of the Study Guide, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.

RAS unanimously voted to take temporary emergency measures, including demanding that OSE not employ the staff from the training course. OSE is supposed to train staff while RAS only approves the course curriculum proposed by OSE.

The Greek national railroad company could face a daily fine of 100,000 euros ($107,755) unless ensuring proper training that meets standards for safety, the governing body said of the penalties.

It wasn’t indicated how a government body that said it didn’t have the budget to make the railways safer would have the money to pay a fine to the government now where that money would go as there hasn’t been any accounting of spending.


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