ISLAMABAD, 7 June 2021:
At least 40 people died and 100 were injured as two trains collided in southern Pakistan, said officials.
The accident occurred early morning in the Ghotki district of Sindh province, where the Millat Express derailed and collided with Sir Syed Express on the adjoining track, Pakistan Railways spokesman Nazia Jabeen said.
Ghotki deputy commissioner Mohamed Usman Abdullah said the number of deaths touched 40, while 100 have been injured – of whom 44 have been hospitalised.
“There are still some passengers trapped whose number could be around five.” Abdullah said rescue operations are still underway but were coming to a close.
The army has been taking part in the rescue operations and mobilised doctors and ambulances.
A team of military engineers have also been sent to the area by helicopter to assist in the cutting open parts of the wreckage of the two trains, which were carrying some 900 passengers.
Prime minister Imran Khan has ordered an investigation into causes of the accident.
“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,” tweeted Khan.
Train accidents are not uncommon in Pakistan, whose rail network dates back to the time when it was a colony of the British Empire, and from which it gained independence in 1947.
In July last year, at least 19 people died and another 15 were injured when a bus carrying pilgrims of the Sikh minority was hit by a train in the eastern province of Punjab.
In October 2019, a total 73 people were killed in an explosion inside a train the southern part of the country, when a gas cylinder exploded while several passengers were preparing breakfast.