ATHENS – Urban Rail Transport SA, the Greek rail-based public transport operator, has announced that it intends to hold the German private contractor Schweerbau GMBH & CO KG to account for the brake failures that led to Tuesday’s fatal accident on Athens metro line 1. The company had been given a contract to smooth the rails on line 1 of the metro system, the overground electric railway running from Piraeus to Kifissia.
In an announcement on Tuesday, some hours after the accident in which 41-year-old STASY employee Petros Giamalis was killed and a Schweerbau GMBH & CO KG employee, the driver of the faulty machine, was seriously injured, STASY announced that it intends to hold the contractor responsible for the tragic accident.
STASY noted that the brakes and emergency braking systems on the rail-smoothing machine failed as it set off from Kifissia and it started to career uncontrollably down the track toward Piraeus. It was stopped after it slammed into a train placed deliberately in its path between Attiki and Agios Nikolaos stations in order to engineer a controlled collision with the minimum possible damage.
The machine is the property of Schweerbau GMBH & CO KG and both the maintenance and inspection of the machine is included in the company’s contractual obligations, STASY said.
A total of five employees, two from STASY and three foreign nationals employed by the contractor were on the machine when it set out from Kifissia. One of them died, one is in hospital with serious injuries and the rest are in good health.
STASY said the accident has been attributed to the equipment owned by the contractor, who was a certified operator for the work in question selected through an international open tender and whose contractual obligations included the maintenance and inspection of the machinery.