(NEW YORK) — At least 36 people were killed and more than 80 others injured in a head-on collision between a freight train and a passenger train in northern Greece late Tuesday, officials said.
The crash occurred shortly before midnight on the Athens-Thessaloniki route, at the entrance to the Tempe Valley gorge in Thessaly, according to Fire Brigade officials.
About 350 people were on board the passenger train at the time of the collision, according to the Hellenic Train Company.
“At Evangelismos, there was a head-on collision between two trains: a freight train and train IC 62, which had departed from Athens to Thessaloniki,” the company told ABC News in a statement. “Firefighters and Hellenic Train personnel rushed to the scene, participating in rescue operations and providing assistance to travelers.”
Emergency services were sent to the scene from several nearby towns to help transport injured passengers and free others trapped in the wreckage, officials said.
“Due to the severity of the collision between the two trains, crane-carrying vehicles are assisting in the extrication work,” the Fire Brigade said in a statement.
Forty ambulances with the National Emergency Center and 150 Fire Brigade firefighters responded to the scene, officials said, along with 32 police officers with 15 patrol cars.
“The remaining passengers who are in good health have already been transported by buses to Thessaloniki,” the Fire Bridage said. “The bodies are being transferred to the hospitals of Larissa in order to begin the process of recognition and identification.”
The military hospitals of Athens and Thessaloniki are on alert, in case they need to receive the wounded, according to fire officials.
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