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WORLD NEWS | Greece: Crash victim returned to family in closed coffin

The LATAM Airlines plane hit the vehicle on the runway (Image: Twitter / @AirCrash_)

LARISA (Greece), March 3 (AP) — An examination of all the human remains recovered so far from the scene of the deadliest train accident in Greek history shows that the number of people killed in this week’s rail disaster The number remains at 57. Friday.

Recovery teams spent a third day searching for wreckage in Tempe, 380 kilometers (235 miles) north of Athens, where a passenger train crashed into a cargo ship just before midnight on Tuesday.

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The force of the head-on collision and resulting fires complicated the task of determining the death toll. Officials are comparing parts of the dismembered and burned bodies with tissue samples to determine the numbers.

The remains were returned to the family in closed coffins after the victims were identified through DNA samples from next of kin.

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Relatives of the passengers, still listed as unaccounted for, waited for news outside a hospital in central Larissa. Among them was Mirella Ruci, whose 22-year-old son Denis remains missing.

“As of now, my son is not on any official list and I have no information. I implore anyone who may have seen him in seat 22 of track car 5, if they may have seen him, please contact I contacted,” Ruci, who struggled to keep her voice from cracking, told reporters.

Due to the large number of dead bodies, all victims will be identified by cross-checking DNA samples from relatives, health ministry officials said.

Police and civilian forensic experts formed teams to run the complex, round-the-clock identification process, which involved two stages: matching body parts to each individual victim and then using DNA samples from relatives of the missing passengers to establish their identities.

Flags on Athens’ ancient Acropolis, parliament and other public buildings remained at half-mast on a third day of national mourning, while rail services across the country were halted for a second straight day due to strikes.

Following the tragedy, anger against authorities has grown over reports that the rail network lacks adequate safeguards to reduce the impact of human error. Not far from Larissa Hospital, thousands of schoolchildren gathered in the central square to protest, chanting “You didn’t come, we will avenge you!”

A demonstration organized by student groups was also taking place in Athens, with hundreds of protesters chanting “Murderers!” and holding up white balloons for the victims, blocking traffic in the center of the capital.

Earlier on Friday, police raided a rail co-ordination office in Larissa to remove evidence as part of an ongoing investigation.

The facility’s 59-year-old station manager was arrested and charged with multiple counts of manslaughter and will testify before prosecutors on Saturday.

Attorney Stelios Sourlas, who represented a 23-year-old collision victim, said responsibility for the death did not lie with the station manager.

“Station managers may have primary responsibility … but the responsibility is broader: it’s the job of rail operators and public officials to make sure that safety measures and procedures are in place,” Sourlas said.

Rail unions say that while rail services have been upgraded to offer faster trains in recent years, the network is poorly maintained.

Greece’s centre-right government had been expected to call national elections on Friday, but the date of the announcement and possibly the date could be delayed.

The passenger train that crashed was traveling along Greece’s busiest route from the capital to Thessaloniki, the country’s second-largest city.

Two of the victims were identified on Friday as Cypriot students Anastasia Adamidou and Kyprianos Papaioannou. Cypriot President Nicos Christodolides said the state would cover all costs related to their repatriation and funerals. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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