Stationmaster in Greece Train Tragedy Says Didn’t Leave Early

ATHENS – A second stationmaster in Greece detained in the Feb. 28 head-on train collision that killed 57 people was released after reportedly testifying he didn’t leave his shift early and had even stayed 15 minutes longer.

A stationmaster on the job only four days was alone when he admitted making an error that put a passenger train carrying 350 people from Athens on the same track with a cargo train coming from Thessaloniki.

And a third stationmaster being questioned in the tragedy was said to have admitted he left his post he was due to leave at 11 p.m. but that he wouldn’t have been there to prevent the disaster because it happened at 11:21 p.m.

The Athens train pulled into the Larissa station which was responsible for directing traffic at 11:02 p.m. as an investigation into what happened has already found failures to implement safety measures.

But no higher-ranking managers in the system of four agencies that run the railways nor any in the Transportation Ministry have been detained and former Transportation Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who resigned, said he wasn’t responsible for the tragedy shocking the country.

The stationmaster who was released will have to appear at his local police station and is banned from leaving the country and a railways inspector will also be questioned about his role but said he recommended that the Larissa station have at least two stationmasters on duty until 11 p.m.


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