Stationmaster charged with homicide in Greek train crash that killed 57

The Greek stationmaster who put two trains on a lethal collision course was charged Sunday with multiple counts of negligent homicide.

A passenger train and a freight train struck each other head-on late Tuesday near Larissa in central Greece, killing at least 57 people and injuring scores more.

The stationmaster has not been publicly identified. While testifying Sunday, he admitted to directing both trains to the same track while they traveled in opposite directions.

A judge ordered him held pending trial.

“My client testified truthfully, without fearing if doing so would incriminate him,” said Stephanos Pantzartzidis, the man’s lawyer. “The decision [to jail him] was expected, given the importance of the case.”

Pantzartzidis implied his client had been scapegoated in the disaster and argued that others should face consequences.

“For 20 minutes, he was in charge of [train] safety in all central Greece,” Pantzartzidis told reporters outside the courtroom.

Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Wednesday that the crash resulted from “tragic human error.” His political opponents jumped on that statement, arguing the disaster was the end result of years of systemic failure.

Train signals around Larissa were operated manually because the automated signaling system was broken. A railway union leader said the system had been broken for six years but never repaired.

With News Wire Services