On 28 February 2023 there was the Tempi train crash in Greece.
A devastating incident, two trains collided head-on, resulting in the deaths of 57 people in Greece’s Thessaly region. The collision occurred between the InterCity 62 passenger train and an inter-modal freight train, making it the deadliest rail disaster in Greek history.
Shockingly, it was revealed that the passenger train was allowed to proceed on the wrong track and pass signals at danger despite the freight train’s presence on the same track. Outraged by the tragic accident, citizens in Athens, Larissa, and Thessaloniki held vigils and took to the streets in angry protests and clashes with the police.
As railway workers of Hellenic Train and the Athens Metro went on strike to protest the dangerous conditions that led to the catastrophe, Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis resigned, taking full responsibility for the crash and his failure to modernize the Greek railway system.
It’s a nightmare scenario that sends shivers down the spine of anyone who’s ever ridden a train. Catastrophic train crashes that leave carnage and tragedy in their wake. From flaming infernos to twisted metal wreckage, these train wrecks are truly the stuff of nightmares. Here are just a few of the most shocking train disasters in recent memory:
- AMAGASAKI, JAPAN – 2005 In what was one of the deadliest train crashes in modern history, a packed commuter train derailed and smashed into an apartment building, killing over 100 people and injuring nearly 500 more. The accident was caused by the driver’s reckless speeding and resulted in a horrifying scene of destruction and chaos.
- LAC-MEGANTIC, CANADA – 2013 A runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in the small town of Lac-Megantic, leaving 47 people dead and devastating the entire community. The blast was so massive that it was heard for miles around and left a massive crater where the town center once stood.
- VALENCE, FRANCE – 2020 A high-speed train traveling at over 110 mph slammed into a fallen tree on the tracks, killing two passengers and injuring 30 others. The accident caused widespread outrage in France and sparked a national debate over the safety of the country’s rail system.
- CHATSWORTH, UNITED STATES – 2008 A commuter train collided head-on with a freight train in Chatsworth, California, leaving 25 people dead and injuring over 100 more. The accident was caused by a signal error that allowed the two trains to occupy the same track at the same time.
- ESCHEDA, GERMANY – 1998 A high-speed train traveling at nearly 125 mph derailed and crashed into a nearby canal, killing 101 people and injuring over 80 more. The accident was caused by a broken wheel on one of the train’s cars, which caused the vehicle to jump the tracks and careen off the bridge.
These train wrecks are just a few examples of the devastating toll that can be taken when things go wrong on the tracks. Whether it’s reckless drivers, faulty equipment, or simple human error, the consequences of a train crash can be catastrophic. But even in the face of tragedy, communities around the world have shown incredible resilience and strength, coming together to mourn the loss of life and rebuild in the aftermath of these disasters.