Pakistan train crash: dozens killed as express services collide

Pakistan train crash: dozens killed as express services collide

Pakistan train crash: dozens killed as express services collide,harbouchanews

At least 38 people killed and up to 20 passengers trapped in wreckage of derailed Millat Express.

At least 40 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in a pre-dawn crash between two express trains in Pakistan, as rescuers and villagers worked throughout the day to pull survivors and the dead from the crumpled carriages.

Cries for help pierced the night as passengers climbed out of overturned or crushed rail cars and local people rushed to the scene in the district of Ghotki, in the southern province of Sindh. Later in the day, heavy machinery arrived to cut open some cars, in the hopes of rescuing several people still believed to be trapped. The military deployed troops and helicopters to assist.

The Millat Express train had derailed at about 3.30am and the Sir Syed Express train hit it minutes later, said Usman Abdullah, a deputy commissioner of Ghotki. It wasn’t immediately clear what had caused the derailment, and the driver of the second train said he had braked when he had seen the derailed train but had not had time to avoid the collision.

“The challenge for us is to quickly rescue those passengers who are still trapped in the wreckage,” said Umar Tufail, a police chief in the district. The death toll steadily rose through the day, reaching at least 40, according to Abdullah.

Officials said more than 100 passengers were injured, and those with critical injuries would be brought by helicopter to a nearby city’s hospital. According to railway officials, about 1,100 passengers were onboard the two trains.

Azam Swati, the minister for railways, said engineers and other experts were trying to determine what had caused the collision, and all aspects would be examined, including the possibility of sabotage.

According to local media, some of the passengers were travelling on the Millat Express to attend a wedding party. It was unclear whether they were among the dead or injured.

TV footage showed ambulances taking passengers to hospital. According to Pakistani TV stations, heavy machinery had not reached the scene about four hours after the crash.

Pakistan’s prime minister expressed sorrow over the tragedy. Imran Khan tweeted that he had asked the railway minister to supervise the rescue work and also ordered an investigation.

Aijaz Ahmed, the driver of the Sir Syed Express, told Geo News TV that he had tried his best to avoid the derailed train by braking but his attempts failed.

Pakistan train crash: dozens killed as express services collide,harbouchanews

Some of the injured passengers were in critical condition. Malik Aslam, a local villager, told Pakistan’s Geo News TV that about 100 people were injured, adding that he had counted at least 30 bodies while helping with the rescue work.

Mohammad Amin, one of the passengers on the Millat Express being treated in hospital for minor injuries, said that before the train had departed from the southern port city of Karachi, he and his brother, who was also on the train, had seen railway mechanics working on one of the coaches.

That led them to believe there was something wrong with it but they were reassured all was fine. The train car that was being worked on was the one that later derailed, Amin claimed.

Habibur Rehman Gilani, the chairman of Pakistan Railways, told Geo News TV that the section of track where the collision had taken place was old and needed replacing. He did not elaborate.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where successive governments have paid little attention to improving the poorly maintained signal system and ageing tracks.

In 1990, a packed passenger train struck a standing freight train in the south, killing 210 people in the worst rail disaster in the country’s history.

the guardian

Previous Post Next Post