Local police in Kalamata are investigating what appears to be an unusual attempt at extortion after railway workers found a 10-centimetre piece of track missing from the line north of the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese.

The discovery was made by a track maintenance wagon 2.5 kilometres from the Zevgolatio railway station, after an anonymous caller reportedly demanded 1.5 million euros from the Kalamata station master.

The caller threatened to remove the piece of track and even specified where he would carry out the act. The maintenance crew later found that a section of track had indeed been sabotaged.

Railway authorities immediately closed the line, the track was repaired and normal service has since resumed.

Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) officials said the sabotage was serious enough to have caused an accident.