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Pope offers condolences and prayers for the victims of train crash in Greece

Rescue crews search debris for survivors in the Tempi Valley, near the Greek city of Larissa (Photo Vatican News)

Pope Francis offered his condolence and prayers for the victims of Tuesday night's train crash near the Greek city of Larissa in a telegram message on Wednesday.

"Entrusting the souls of the deceased to the loving mercy of Almighty God, [Pope Francis] offers heartfelt condolences to the families who mourn their loved ones," the message read.

The telegram message was addressed to the Greek Bishops' Conference president, Bishop Petros Stefanou of Syros, and signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

He blessed the victims and rescue workers "as a pledge of strength and solidarity in the Lord."

On Tuesday night, a passenger train crashed head-on with a freight train in the northern Tempi Valley in Greece.

Several cars derailed, and a few caught fire. The passenger train carried 342 people and ten crews. 2 crew members operated the freight train.

At least 36 people were killed and injured over 85 in the collision as of midday on Wednesday.

The rescuers rushed through the twisted wreckage of the trains to save the survivors on Wednesday.

Greece's government declared three days of national mourning and ordered flags to fly at half-mast until Friday to honor the crash victims.

On Wednesday, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said, "I express my condolences to those who lost loved ones or suffered in this disaster. Even at this moment, a life-saving operation is going on to help those who are on this death train." - With inputs from Vatican News


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