Derailed train spills tons of fuel

Rescue workers in the northern prefecture of Kilkis were yesterday clearing away the charred wagons of a freight train that derailed on Tuesday night, spilling more than 500 tons of liquid fuel. The train, which had been en route to Kosovo with 400 tons of crude oil and 150 tons of gasoline, derailed in an uninhabited area near the village of Aspros. The accident is believed to have occurred during a track change although the exact cause was unclear. The Hellenic Railway Organisation said a probe had been ordered. Sixteen of the train’s 18 wagons derailed and most of the fuel being transported was spilt, triggering several explosions and starting a large fire which was extinguished early yesterday. None of the train crew were injured, but there were fears of environmental damage. «It is certain that pollution levels skyrocketed around the site of the accident,» according to Nikolaos Mousiopoulos of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University. «But we cannot know the real implications as there is no central body or mechanism for measuring pollution increases in northern Greece,» he said.