Fifty-seven people were killed and at least 85 injured in a collision of two trains near the city of Larissa in Greece late on Tuesday, fire brigade spokesperson Vassilis Varthakogiannis said in a televised address early on Wednesday. 10 people are still missing.
Two trains collided in central Greece late on Tuesday and rescue teams were evacuating passengers after at least two carriages caught fire, the fire brigade said.
State broadcaster ERT said "tens of people" were injured after a passenger train collided with a cargo train.
At least 57 people were killed, among them university students returning home after a long holiday weekend. Scores were injured.
"The most difficult moment is this one, where instead of saving lives we have to recover bodies," 40-year old rescuer Konstantinos Imanimidis told Reuters on the site of the crash, about 140 miles (230 km) north of Athens.
"Temperatures of 1,200 degrees and more in the carriages cannot allow for anyone to remain alive."
Nearby, two brothers were crying, with 33-year-old Sokratis Bozos saying they had come to the site of the crash in the hope of getting some news of their father, after the hospital could not tell them whether his body had been recovered.
It said "some passengers" were pulled from the wreckage unconscious after the crash outside the city of Larissa close to midnight.
Broadcaster SKAI showed footage of derailed carriages, badly damaged with broken windows and thick plumes of smoke, as well as debris strewn across the road. Rescue workers were seen carrying torches in carriages looking for trapped passengers.
"We heard a big bang, (it was) 10 nightmarish seconds," said Stergios Minenis, a 28-year-old passenger who jumped to safety from the wreckage.
"We were turning over in the wagon until we fell on our sides...then there was panic, cables (everywhere) fire, the fire was immediate, as we were turning over we were being burned, fire was right and left."
"There was panic in the carriage, people were screaming," a young man who was evacuated to a nearby bridge told SKAI TV.
"It was like an earthquake," Angelos Tsiamouras, another passenger, told ERT.
Konstantinos Agorastor, governor of the broader Thessaly region, told SKAI TV the two trains collided head on - a passenger train travelling from Athens to the northern city of Thessaloniki, and a cargo train from Thessaloniki to Larissa.
"The collision was very strong," he said, adding that the first four carriages had derailed, while the first two were "almost completely destroyed."
Agorastos said 40 passengers were taken to hospital with injuries, while about 250 were evacuated to Thessaloniki on buses.
"The evacuation of passengers is under way in very difficult conditions given the severity of the collision of the two trains," fire brigade spokesperson Vassilis Varthakogiannis said in a televised address.
In the early hours of Wednesday, footage from state broadcaster ERT showed rescue workers with headlights searching the wreckage and surrounding fields for survivors.
Local media reported about 350 people were travelling on the passenger train, which departed Athens around 19:30 local time (0530 GMT). The fire brigade said it was informed of the accident shortly before midnight on Tuesday. The cargo train had been travelling from Thessaloniki to Larissa.
The passenger train is operated by the Italian group Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, which according to its website is the main provider of rail transport for passengers and freight in Greece and runs 342 passenger and commercial routes a day.