March 5, 2023

Survivor of the Deadly Train Collision in Tempi, Greece Attributes His Survival and Ability to Help Others to Saint Luke of Simferopol

A passenger train carrying more than 350 people and a freight train were in a head-on collision on Tuesday evening, February 28th, in Tempi, near the city of Larissa. The death toll is at 57.

March 3, 2023

The 20-year-old student studying commercial engineering, Michalis Klapsis from Leipsoi, speaking on T. Stefanidou's "T-Live" show today, attributed to Saint Luke of Simferopol the Physician and to his icon of him that he always has with him his salvation in the carnage in Tempi, but also that he was found worthy to help and save his fellow human beings, among them a baby. 
"Everything I did I did thanks to him," he declared "... the strength I got to do all this, I believe my patron Saint Luke the Physician gave me because I always carry his icon with me."

"A mother, who was feeding her baby at the time of the collision, lost it and luckily I found it alive under my seat," he says. He freed another girl named Iphigenia from sheet metal that had covered half her body, along with her boyfriend who was begging for help. "He had a pulse," he said.

It was an unparalleled example of altruism and self-sacrificing self-denial from the young man... In a burning train with smoke, an amorphous mass of sheet metal and bodies he did not refuse help to fellow human beings.

The 20-year-old Michalis Klapsis from Leipsoi who saved dozens of his fellow passengers from the burning train also gave an interview to Demetra Staga (, where he repeated that he owes Saint Luke of Simferopol the strength he found to help the trapped.

"I touched my face and body to see where I had been hit, smelled the fumes and thought 'I'm alive, I have to get up and help.'"

"I accidentally found myself on the night route."

As the 20-year-old third-year student at the Macedonian Merchant Marine Academy explains, he was in Athens for the three days of Clean Monday and was looking for a route to return to Thessaloniki.

"I had bought a return ticket to Thessaloniki and would leave on Tuesday with the 17:20 train. But when I entered the train and took my seat, I realized that I had the same seat as another passenger! The officials told me that there was a mistake and I should take the next route, so I found myself in the 3rd carriage of that particular train. We felt three strong tremors. We were told there would be a delay on the route of about 15 minutes, I remember looking at my watch and seeing that we had been waiting for over 20 minutes. When the collision happened I felt three strong jolts. It took a few seconds for me to come to my senses and understand what had happened. I touched my face and body to see if I had been hit by anything, I could hear screaming all around me and I immediately smelled smoke. Once I realized I was fine and could stand up I looked around to help my fellow passengers. I heard a woman crying, she told me she lost her baby. I started looking and luckily I found the baby alive under my seat. I found a cell phone on the floor that was still working and turned on the flashlight, then I started trying to break the windows to save as many people as possible. At that moment, the strength I got to do all this, I believe was given to me by my patron Saint Luke the Surgeon because I always carry his icon with me."
Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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