Pakistan: Train collision leaves 36 dead
By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA): At least 36 people were killed and dozens injured early Monday in a collision between two passenger trains in southern Pakistan, officials and local media reported.
The collision between the northbound and southbound trains occurred near Ghotki district in southern Sindh province, located 526 kilometers (326 miles) from Karachi.
The Deputy Commissioner Ghotki, Usman Abdullah, told reporters that 36 bodies have been recovered and rescue workers backed by heavy machinery were trying to rescue over two dozen passengers still trapped in the wreckage.
More than 50 passengers were injured in the collision, some of them critically.
The accident, he said, occurred after rear carriages of the northbound Millat Express, headed from Karachi to Sargodha, derailed and drifted to the parallel track, resulting in a collision with the southbound Sir Syed Express. The incident took place near the Raiti railway station.
Footage aired on local broadcaster Geo News showed rescue workers and locals pulling bodies and the injured out and loading them into ambulances. The badly damaged train cars were seen lying on the track.
Between 15 to 20 passengers are still trapped in the wreckage of the Millat Express train and authorities are trying to arrange heavy machinery to rescue those people who are crying for help, said Ghotki SSP Umar Tufail.
Prime Minster Imran Khan said he was “shocked” at the “horrific” train accident.
“Shocked by the horrific train accident at Ghotki early this morning leaving 30 passengers dead. Have asked Railway Minister to reach site & ensure medical assistance to injured & support for families of the dead. Ordering comprehensive investigation into railway safety faultlines,” he tweeted.
Pakistan has had a long history of train accidents, mainly because of poor infrastructure and a lack of safety standards.
On Oct. 31, 2019, more than 70 people died in an explosion on a moving train near Rahimyar Khan district of northeastern Punjab province which officials later blamed on a fire caused by a short-circuit.
At least 19 members of a small Sikh community died in a collision between a bus and a train in Punjab’s Sheikhupura district in July last year.
Additional report by The Muslim News
[Map of Pakistan from the CIA factbook/Public Domain]