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Suspect in Greek Train Tragedy Released on Bail: Lawyer


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A Greek train official charged over the country’s worst train disaster, which left 57 people dead last month, was released on bail on Monday, his lawyer said.

His lawyer, Sotiria Hatzidemitriou, told reporters in the city of Larissa that the man, a station manager whose name has not been released by judicial officials, was released after paying a bond of 10,000 euros ($10,780) and must report to the local police station twice a month.

He faces charges including endangering the safety of transportation and negligent homicide, which could carry up to life in prison.

Investigators are trying to determine if the suspect went home early, leaving a less experienced stationmaster alone on February 28 after a public holiday, one of the busiest nights of the year for train traffic.

Shortly thereafter, a passenger train and a freight train collided head-on after running on the same track for several miles.

Most of the victims were university students returning from a long weekend.

Greece’s transport minister has resigned, and the disaster has sparked weeks of angry and sometimes violent protests, piling pressure on Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ahead of elections expected in May.

The main center manager on duty during the incident was placed in remand on the same charges.

Two railway officials – the third station manager and superintendent – have also been charged in connection with the disaster and are due to testify this week.

The Greek railways watchdog found serious safety problems across the network, including inadequate basic training for critical staff.

Rail unions have long warned that the network is underfunded, understaffed and prone to accidents after a decade of spending cuts.

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