And while a whole country mourns and still hasn’t gotten over what happened in Tempe, there are some who in a wretched and deceitful way get rich by robbing and looting the trains, which have pulled the handbrake.

The tragedy in Tempi shocked all Greeks. All but those who found yet another opportunity for illicit enrichment.

The strangers, taking advantage of the train stoppage and insufficient guarding, go into the parking lot and steal entire braking systems, as well as the fasteners that join the wagons and brakes, apparently with the intention of selling them.

“Over the past few days it has been observed at a frantic rate that parts are being stolen from the top of the wagons. From our wagons they have taken all the links that connect one wagon to another and loosen the braking systems of the wagons,” said Nikolaos Modiotis, CEO of a transport company.

Theft victims

Since the day of the accident that stopped traffic on the railway, commercial trains in Thessaloniki have been parked at the marshalling station. Companies complain that they are victims of theft every day.

The scavengers strip the electronic signaling cable which is next to the railway line and is usually encased in cement.

They take out the copper wire, burn it to remove its plastic sheath and then sell – at prices in the order of 6.5.7 euros per kilo – the “pure” copper to illegal foundries. These before and after photos of the wagon are indicative. The fittings that join the wagons together seem to be missing.

“The damage so far reaches 20,000 euros and we fear that it will increase every day”, added Mr. Modiotis.

The “looting” of train parts necessarily decommissions the wagons, which in order to return to traffic require time until the spare parts are found and the damage is repaired.