Survivors Describe ‘Nightmarish Seconds’ Of Deadly Train Crash

REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Survivors of a deadly train crash in Greece are speaking out about the “nightmarish” accident that claimed dozens of lives.

At least 36 people were killed and 85 injured when two trains collided head-on just outside the city of Larissa, Greece, on Tuesday night. The front carriages of a passenger train involved the accident were almost completely destroyed. Survivors described a “nightmarish 10 seconds” as the carriages overturned and burst into flames, BBC reported.

Witnesses described feeling a strong shudder and an enormous bang, followed by total chaos, Reuters reported. “There was panic, cables (everywhere) fire, the fire was immediate, as we were turning over we were being burned, fire was right and left,” passenger Stergios Minenis, 28, told the outlet. “I managed to get out and went to the front, the train was bent at a 90 degree angle, half of it was hanging over the cliff burning. There were five people injured just where I stood.”

Another survivor told Skai television that “the windows suddenly exploded” and people around them were “screaming and were afraid.” Others, desperate to escape the fire, were forced to break through windows using their bodies or luggage.

“Fortunately, we were able to open the doors and escape fairly quickly. In other wagons, they did not manage to get out, and one wagon even caught fire,” the passenger noted. (RELATED: ‘It’s Totally Wrecked Our Life’: Ohio Train Derailment Keeps Getting Worse)

Some 350 people were aboard the train when it crashed, many of them students returning to Thessaloniki after celebrating the beginning of Greek Orthodox Lent, Reuters noted. Three days of national mourning have been declared as a result of this tragedy, according to BBC.