An express train collided with the derailed coaches of another train in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province on Monday morning, killing 51 people and injuring over 100.
Karachi. An express train collided with the derailed coaches of another train in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province on Monday morning, killing 51 people and injuring over 100. Following one of the worst train accidents in the country in recent years, authorities called in the army and paramilitary forces to help with the challenging rescue and relief work.
A Pakistan Railways spokesperson said the Karachi-Sargodha-bound Millat Express derailed and fell on the front tracks, colliding with the Rawalpindi-Karachi-bound Sir Syed Express. Due to the collision, the bogies of Millat Express overturned. The accident took place near Dharki town of Ghotki district of Sindh. A state of emergency was declared in hospitals in Ghotki, Dharki, Obaro and Mirpur Mathelo after the train accident. The injured were taken to the hospitals here.
ARY News quoted Ghotki Deputy Commissioner Usman Abdullah as saying that 51 people, including some railway officials, were killed and over 100 were injured in the accident. ‘Geo News’ quoted police and rescue officials as saying that more than 45 people died and more than 100 people were injured in the accident. On the train accident, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he is “shocked by this horrific train accident.” He tweeted, “Shocked by the horrific train accident in Ghotki early today. They have been asked to provide help to the families of the injured and to provide medical aid to the injured. I am ordering a detailed inquiry into the security related lapses in the railways.” President Arif Alvi has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the train accident. Aijaz Shah, the driver of the Sir Syed Express train, said he was rescued by locals two hours after the trains collided. He said that the train was running at its normal speed when they saw the derailed bogies of Millat Express. The distance was short, so the collision happened.” Ghotki Deputy Commissioner Usman Abdullah told Geo News that 13 to 14 bogies were derailed and six to eight bogies were “completely damaged” in the entire accident. He said, “It remains a challenge for the rescue officers to rescue the passengers trapped in the bogies.
Heavy machines will be used to rescue those who are still trapped and this work will take time. We are also organizing medical camps to provide medical help to the people. A ‘relief train’ has also been dispatched from Rohri. Over 1,000 passengers were on board both the trains, officials said. A railway department spokesperson said that around 20 passengers were still trapped in some damaged bogies. These bogies overturned and were damaged. He said that the officials are collecting information about the passengers and staff on board both the trains. “Heavy machines are required to clear the damaged bogies, so it will take some time to complete the rescue operation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sindh province Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident and directed the Sukkur commissioner to activate the district administration, Dawn News reported. He asked the officials to make arrangements for temporary accommodation and food and water for the passengers. Pakistan Rangers personnel have also reached the spot to assist in the relief and rescue operations. Army’s media arm ‘Inter-Services Public Relations’ was told that army doctors and ambulances are assisting in the rescue operation. Army engineers and specialist teams are being airlifted from Rawalpindi to assist in the rescue work.
He told that two helicopters have left from Multan, relief material is also being prepared and it will also be delivered soon. According to Geo News, the authorities have announced an ex-gratia of Rs 15 lakh for the next of kin of those who died in the accident. The injured will be given compensation ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. A senior former railway official said that the rail network in Pakistan has become very old at many places, which becomes the reason for such accidents. He said that at many places, the tracks which were laid before Partition are being operated.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.