NEWS

In Brief

SYROS TRAGEDY

Baby drowns when migrant boat capsizes off Dodecanese island An 18-month-old baby drowned off the island of Syros yesterday when a boat carrying 19 illegal immigrants capsized, said the Merchant Marine Ministry. A coast guard patrol boat had spotted the smaller vessel shortly before it capsized. Coast guard officers were able to rescue 13 men, two women, two children and a Turkish man suspected of being a human trafficker. The baby was also pulled out from the water but was pronounced dead at a local health center. METRO STRIKE Action appears likely tomorrow Metro employees are likely to stage a 24-hour strike tomorrow after failing to agree on the terms of their 2008-9 collective contract with the Transport Ministry. Workers had been due to strike last Thursday but postponed their action following the Cabinet reshuffle, saying that they wanted to give the new transport minister, Evripidis Stylianidis, time to deal with their complaints. Workers want to maintain the ability to freely negotiate their collective contracts. Electric railway Improvements to the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) track will lead to the closure of three stations this weekend and reduced service over the next few weeks, it was announced yesterday. The Petralona, Thiseion and Monastiraki stations will all be closed on Saturday and Sunday while the work is carried out. A bus replacement service, to run between Omonia and Tavros and stopping at the three closed stations, will be available to passengers. Also, there will be reduced service on the ISAP line from January 26 to March 13. A new bus line, 500A, will run from Piraeus to Omonia, stopping at all the stations in between in a bid to ease congestion on the train carriages. For more information, passengers can call 210.3293.000 or log on to www.isap.gr. Papoulias on board Following a meeting with representatives of Santorini residents yesterday, President Karolos Papoulias promised them that he would speak to European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas about the sunken Sea Diamond cruise ship. Papoulias said that failure to remove the shipwreck from the sea represented a major environmental issue for Greece, not just Santorini. Papoulias said he would do all he could to promote the cause of the residents. Earthquake An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale shook the islands of Crete and Karpathos yesterday but did not cause any damage. The quake struck at 8.12 a.m. and its epicenter was in the sea between the two islands. Seismologists said that similar tremors have been recorded in the past and the quake was no cause for alarm. Murder probe Port Authority officials were yesterday investigating the suspected murder of a young man whose bound body was found in the sea off a pier in Piraeus. Divers recovered the body of the man, whose arms and legs had been tied and whose mouth was gagged. Drownings Port Authority vessels were yesterday scouring the area around the Aegean island of Leipsoi following the discovery of the bodies of two men, believed to be migrants, and a half-sunken plastic rowboat earlier in the day.

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