NEWS

In Brief

CRASH PROBE

Station master accepts blame for train derailment that injured 28 The manager of Larissa railway station yesterday reportedly accepted his share of blame for Saturday’s train derailment near the city, which injured 28 people, but said other railway officials were also to blame. The 50-year-old claimed responsibility for failing to stop the train from turning onto a diversion, police said. But he also blamed the manager of the previous station on the train’s route, Palaiofarsalo, for failing to issue a notification. He also blamed the two train drivers for failing to spot the light at the diversion and reduce speed. He was later released. OLYMPIC WOES Flights from Athens delayed due to shortage of seasonal staff at airline Hundreds of passengers suffered as several Olympic Airlines (OA) flights from Athens were severely delayed yesterday due to an apparent lack of seasonal staff who supplement the full-time flight attendants. OA employs some 700 stewards and stewardesses and 150 seasonal attendants under normal circumstances. However, there are currently as few as 30 seasonal staff employed by OA as the contracts of the other attendants have not been renewed. OA has said it will take on more in-flight personnel but they are not likely to be in place until June. WORKER KILLED Second man injured in explosion An explosion on board a cargo vessel at a shipyard in Halkida, central Greece, killed a 49-year-old male worker, police said yesterday. The accident took place while the worker was performing maintenance work on the ship’s fuel tanks. A second worker hurt in the explosion was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Workers have accused the shipyard of failing to adhere to safety standards. Police arrested the supervisor in charge of the worksite at the time of the explosion. Busy burglars Police in Attica have arrested a 30-year-old man who is thought to be a member of a gang that has broken into more than 50 houses and apartments in southern Athens since December. Officers said yesterday the gang broke into the properties at night, through unsecured doors or windows. The thieves allegedly used stolen cars to get away after the robberies. Privacy chief The honorary president of the Council of State, Christos Geraris, was named as the new head of Greece’s privacy watchdog, the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (APPD). The previous president, Dimitris Gourgourakis, and five other APPD officials resigned last November in protest at the decision by the police to use closed-circuit television cameras to monitor protesters during the march to mark the November 17 student uprising. Drugs haul Police in Giannitsa yesterday seized just over a kilo of heroin from a couple in the northern Greek town. The 34-year-old man and 30-year-old woman, both foreigners, were detained on charges of drug dealing. Car park fire A fire that broke out yesterday lunchtime in an underground parking lot in Piraeus destroyed three parked cars before it could be contained. The fire is believed to have been started by a short circuit in the building’s old wiring. Illegal immigrants The coast guard arrested 26 illegal immigrants off the coast of Samos, in the eastern Aegean Sea, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The immigrants, including four women, were found in an inflatable boat half a nautical mile off the area of Galazio. They told authorities they had crossed over into Greece from Turkish shores. Jilted and angry Police have launched a manhunt for a 20-year-old man in Lamia, central Greece, who allegedly shot at a car after being rejected by a female friend. The suspect shot at the vehicle parked in a forest area outside Lamia, in which a 20-year-old man was with a woman, aged 21 at around 4 a.m. The shot, fired from a single-barrel hunting rifle, smashed the car’s back window but no one was hurt. A fight followed between the two men, resulting in the suspect dropping the weapon and fleeing the scene on foot. Police believe the suspect was angry at being rejected by the woman earlier in the evening.