(TEMPI, Greece) — A station manager faces manslaughter charges following a deadly high-speed train collision that killed dozens of people in central Greece, his attorney said Thursday.
At least 57 people have been confirmed dead and more than 80 others injured in the head-on collision between a freight train and a passenger train Tuesday night in Tempi, near the city of Larissa, officials said, as the death toll has continued to rise in the wake of the fiery crash.
About 350 people were on board the passenger train, which was traveling from Athens to Thessaloniki, according to the Greek rail operator Hellenic Train.
The passenger train was traveling at a speed of about 103 mph when it collided with the freight train, according to the Hellenic Fire Service. Greek state TV reported that the two trains were running on the same line for 12 minutes, or a distance of about 11 miles.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Wednesday that the incident was “mainly due to tragic human error.”
The 59-year-old Larissa station manager was arrested following the deadly crash and has since been charged with disruption of public transport safety, manslaughter and bodily injuries by negligence, his lawyer told reporters outside the courthouse Thursday.
The station manager, who could face up to life in prison for the manslaughter charge, has not been publicly identified. He has until Saturday to prepare his defense, his lawyer told reporters.
The station manager reportedly took some responsibility for the disaster but other factors were at play, his lawyer said, according to Reuters. The man was assigned his role a few months ago, according to Greek state media reports.
Supreme Court Prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos on Wednesday called on the investigating Larissa prosecutor to broaden his search in all directions and collect all available evidence to identify everyone responsible for the deadly rail collision, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.
Greek Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis announced his resignation Wednesday after visiting the crash site in Tempi, saying he felt it was his “duty” to do so “as a minimum sign of respect” to the victims.
The heads of the Hellenic Railways Association and national railway subsidiary ERGOSE also resigned in the wake of the crash, according to Prime Minister Mitsotakis.
Trains were not running anywhere in Greece on Thursday after members of the Federation of Railway Employees decided to strike for 24 hours following the train crash.
ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman and Daphne Tolis contributed to this report.
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