Two Cypriot nationals were on board one of the two trains that collided in Larissa, northern Greece on Tuesday night, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens of others.
The newly appointed foreign minister Constantinos Kombos said the two are still missing and names cannot be made public yet.
However, according to reports published on several media outlets in Cyprus, the two Cypriot nationals are Kypros Papaioannou, a law student from Avgorou, and Anastasia Adamidou from Paphos, enrolled at the Aristotelio Dental School in Thessaloniki. Their state of health is not known.
Later in the day, the family of the first Cypriot, Papaioannou arrived in Larisa, Greece.
The family said that they would be giving a DNA sample, while Adamidou’s family is expected to arrive in the next few hours.
Cyprus’ ambassador to Greece, Kyriacos Kenevezos, is also in Larisa to help the families.
Earlier in the day, Kombos said the foreign ministry’s crisis management department has already contacted the Cypriot ambassador in Greece Kyriakos Kenevezos and the Greek authorities to mobilise help.
Kombos has been in constant touch with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, during which he expressed his sincere condolences for the tragic train accident.
A statement released by the president’s office added that government officials have been instructed to get in touch with the families of the two missing Cypriots and give them assistance and, if needed at a later stage, passage to Greece.
The crash occurred as the passenger train emerged from a tunnel. Derailed carriages, badly damaged with broken windows and thick plumes of smoke, could be seen on the site.
One passenger carriage stood on its side at almost 90 degrees from the rest of the wrecked train, with other derailed carriages tilting precariously.
The passenger train was carrying 342 travellers and 10 crew, while two crew were on the cargo train, according to Hellenic Train data.
Interviewed during the new cabinet’s swearing in ceremony, House president Annita Demetriou did not comment as to the identity and whereabouts of the two Cypriots who were on one of the trains.
However, she sent her condolences to the families of all the victims, as well as to the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, adding that flags outside parliament in Nicosia will fly at half-mast for three days and a minute of silence will be observed during Thursday’s House plenary.
President Nikos Christodoulides also ordered later in the day that flags at all government buildings fly at half-mast due to the tragedy.
Mitsotakis has visited the scene of the crash and promised to find out what caused the disaster.
Meanwhile, Greece’s Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis has resigned, saying “it’s impossible to continue after something so tragic.”
The head of emergency unit in Larissa hospital Apostolos Komnos said most of the dead were young people, in their 20s.
Many of the passengers would have been returning home after a long holiday weekend marking the beginning of Greek Orthodox Lent. Thessaloniki has a large student population.
The families of the two missing Cypriots have sent an appeal urging anyone who might know anything about their whereabouts to call the following telephone numbers: 99235632, 96615761 and 00306942245592.