Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
Hellenic Train, whose train crashed in a head-on collision with a freighter on Feb. 28, killing 57 people on board, announced on Wednesday it will make advance payments to the families of the victims and to the passengers injured in the crash in Tempe, to cover their immediate financial needs.
The company, which oversees passenger and freight services, said it would pay 42,000 euros to the families of the passengers who were killed, 10,000 euros to passengers who were injured and are still being treated in hospitals or clinics – regardless of the severity of the injuries – and 5,000 euros to passengers who were injured and have been discharged from hospital.
In addition, it will pay a compensation of 300 euros for luggage, including hand luggage, and personal belongings to the families of the victims, the injured and other passengers who were on the train.
Hellenic Train said that these payments “in no way constitutes an acceptance of liability on the part of the company,” and that the sums given “exceed the minimum obligations foreseen for rail companies by European Regulation 1371/2007 for the rights and obligations of passengers and railway lines.”
Under the EC regulation, if a passenger is injured in a train accident, the rail company must make an advance payment within 15 days to cover the passenger’s and his/her dependants’ immediate needs. In the event of a death, the minimum payment is 21,000 euros. The regulation does stipulate that an advance must be paid in the event of injury but does not name a minimum amount.
Passenger and freight services on the route linking Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki, the busiest across a 2,500-km (1,550-mile) rail network, have been halted since the train crash.
State minister George Gerapetritis, who took over the transport portfolio after the crash, announced that freight rail and suburban trains in the capital Athens and Thessaloniki will resume operation on March 22. In the rest of the country, passenger trains will start operating on April 1.