Greece train crash: Fire and violence in Athens as protesters clash with riot police over rail disaster

Greek police were pelted with petrol bombs during clashes with protesters as anger continues to swell over a train crash which left 57 people dead.

Dozens more passengers were injured in what was the country's deadliest rail accident in living memory, as the train they were travelling on collided with a freight train outside the city of Larissa.

Greece has seen widespread demonstrations since Tuesday's high-speed crash, with tens of thousands of protesters gathering to demand better safety standards.

The violent scenes on Sunday in central Athens, the nation's capital, were quickly dispelled by riot police using stun grenades and tear gas.

Most of the approximately 10,000 students, railway workers, and others who attended demonstrated peacefully, while also expressing sympathy for the lives lost in the accident.

The late-night passenger train was packed with university students who were returning from a long holiday weekend, heading north from Athens to Thessaloniki.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis blamed the crash on "tragic human error".

What do the protesters want?

Some signs being carried in Athens on Sunday referred to the train crash as a "crime".

"Their policies cost human lives," said another, referring to underinvestment in rail infrastructure dating back to Greece's debt crisis that lasted from 2010 to 2018.

Rail unions say the network has not been up to standard for years, with a planned remote surveillance and signalling system not yet delivered. They are demanding the government commits to a timetable for its implementation.

Mr Mitsotakis has acknowledged that, had the system been in place, "it would have been, in practice, impossible for this accident to happen".

In the meantime, railway workers have been staging walkouts to denounce the cost-cutting measures.

Read more:
'Horrendously bizarre': The scene of Greece's train crash

Station master facing charges

While Greece's people await government action, a station master in Larissa who was on duty at the time of the crash faces charges of endangering lives and disrupting public transport.

He appeared before a magistrate on Sunday, but cannot be named for legal reasons.