At least 29 people were killed as a freight train collided with a passenger train in central Greece on Tuesday night, state broadcaster ERT has reported’
The report cited a fire brigade spokesperson, with many people still believed to be trapped under the debris.
At least 85 people were injured, some of them seriously, the spokesperson said, adding that the search for further victims continued.
Several hospitals in the region were put on high alert.
The cause of the accident was initially unclear.
A passenger train coming from Athens en route to the northern port city of Thessaloniki, collided head-on with a commercial train travelling in the opposite direction, according to initial reports from railway officials.
The passenger train, the Inter City 62, departed from the Greek capital at 7:22 pm (1722 GMT) on Tuesday evening.
In total, some 350 passengers and 20 railway employees were said to have been on board the two trains.
Videos broadcast on local television showed several wrecked train cars at the crash site near the municipality of Tempi, near the city of Larissa.
Firefighters and rescue teams were searching the debris for survivors, according to reporters at the scene.
“Most of the injured have head injuries as well as broken pelvises, arms and legs.
“Unfortunately, there are still many people under the rubble,’’ a rescue worker told reporters.
A fire broke out in the passenger train following the collision, a survivor told ERT.
“There was chaos and incredible noise,’’ he added.
The crash occurred on a line connecting Athens with Thessaloniki that was modernised over the past years.
Greece’s railway, Hellenic Train, is operated by Italy’s state-owned railway company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane.
Railway employees told Greek Broadcaster, Real FM that there were still significant problems with the electric coordination of traffic control in spite modernisation. (Dpa/NAN)