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Cypriots among missing in Greek train crash

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Two Cypriots were missing Wednesday following the collision of two trains in Tempi, Thessaloniki, northern Greece, that killed at least 40 people and injured scores more.

As announced, the families of the two Cypriots were 23-year-old student Kyprianos Papaioannou from Avgorou, Famagusta, and Anastasia Adamidou, 24, from Paphos.

They were on the train travelling to Thessaloniki from Athens.

Adamidou is a graduate of the Dentistry School of the Aristotle University Thessaloniki, while Papaioannou is a Law student there.

A passenger train heading towards Thessaloniki from Athens collided head-on with a freight train heading in the opposite direction.

The two trains were running on the same track, which led to a fierce collision.

The crash occurred as the passenger train emerged from a tunnel.

According to an update from the Greek Fire Department, 85 are injured, of which 66 are hospitalised. Six were being treated in Intensive Care Units at local hospitals.

Reports from Greece say that authorities fear that the death toll will rise as several people are trapped in the first three carriages of the passenger train, where rescue operations are underway.

According to the information from Hellenic Trains, 354 people were on board the two trains, 342 passengers and 12 staff, two of them in the cargo train.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, new Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said that authorities could not confirm whether Cypriots were on board the passenger train.

He added that coordinated efforts had been made with the embassy and the consulate in full cooperation with the Greek police and the ministry of foreign affairs.

“At this stage, we cannot say anything more.

“When the Greek authorities officially clarify the issue, we will be able to provide more information to the public,” Kombos said.

The head of the emergency unit at the General Hospital in Larissa, Apostolos Komnos, told Greek media that most of the dead were young people in their 20s.

Many passengers would have been returning home following the Green Monday long holiday weekend. In addition, Thessaloniki has a large student population.

Earlier reports said three Cypriot students escaped the crash site alive, one climbing out of the carriage through a window.