(Athens) The Greek Railways Regulator (RAS) found “serious” shortcomings in the safety of the management of the railway network, in particular in the “inadequate” training of employees of the Greek Railway Organization (OSE), he announced on Friday.

More than two weeks after the head-on collision between two trains which left 57 dead, this independent authority pointed out that according to its first conclusions, “the training of personnel by the OSE [which manages the rail network, editor’s note] was incomplete and therefore inadequate”, especially that of the station masters.

After investigating the “training of traffic sector personnel of which the station master involved in the accident was a part”, the dispatcher found that it “could not be proven” that he had completed ” his theoretical and practical training”.

The station manager of Larissa, a town close to the deadly accident, is in pre-trial detention after admitting responsibility for the accident on the evening of February 28.

It was this 59-year-old man, presented as inexperienced by the Greek authorities, who allegedly made the mistake of letting a passenger train and a freight convoy run on the same track for several kilometers without reacting, causing a head-on collision between both trains.

He was charged five days after the accident while three other OSE employees are also being prosecuted.

The RAS decided “unanimously to take emergency action due to serious indications of violation of railway law, which poses a serious threat to public safety,” according to the statement.

In addition to the responsibility of this station master, the dilapidated state of the rail network, the delays in the modernization of signaling and security systems, have been singled out to explain this rail disaster which has raised a wave of indignation in Greece.