Passenger trains collide in Pakistan, 50 dead; Army called in
(Sourced from PTI)
Two passenger trains collided in Pakistan's southern Sindh province early Monday, killing at least 50 people and injuring 70 others, prompting authorities to call in the Army and paramilitary forces for rescue and relief operations. The accident occurred when the Millat Express from Karachi to Sargodha derailed and fell on the opposite track and collided with Sir Syed Express headed from Rawalpindi to Karachi.
At least 50 people have lost their lives and 70 others sustained injuries, ARY News quoted Ghotki Deputy Commissioner Usman Abdullah as saying. The incident took place near Daharki, a city located in the Ghotki district of upper Sindh. An emergency has been declared at hospitals in Ghotki, Daharki, Obaro, and Mirpur Mathelo.
Reacting to the train derailment, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he was "shocked by the horrific train accident." He further informed that he has asked Railway Minister to reach site & ensure medical assistance to injured & support for families of the dead.
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— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 7, 2021
Sir Syed Express train's driver Aijaz Shah said that he was rescued by locals after two hours of the collision. He said that the train was running at its normal speed when he suddenly saw the derailed bogies of Millat Express at the track. Due to the short distance, the train rammed into the derailed bogies, leading to the accident, the report said.
Officials were also facing difficulty in rescuing the people trapped inside the overturned bogies. Speaking to Geo News, the Deputy Commissioner said that 13 to 14 bogies have derailed in the accident while six to eight were "completely destroyed." He said that rescuing passengers who are still trapped is a "challenge" for the rescue officials.
"A relief train has departed from Rohri," he said. "This is a challenging task. It will take time to use heavy machinery to free citizens (still trapped). We are also establishing a medical camp to provide medical aid to citizens," he said. Ghotki SSP Umar Tufail said that passengers are still stuck in one of the bogies and we fear more casualties.
According to officials, over 1,000 passengers were on board the two trains. Meanwhile, an investigation has been launched into the accident. Train accidents are common in Pakistan and dozens of people lose their lives every year. The railways have seen decades of decline due to graft, mismanagement, and lack of investment.
The authorities have announced Rs. 15 lakh ex gratia each to the next of kin of those killed. The injured will be given a minimum of Rs. 1,00,000 and a maximum of Rs. 3,00,000, depending upon the nature of the injury, Geo News reported.