21 killed, over 50 hurt in Pak train crash
At least 21 people were killed and 50 others injured, after a passenger train rammed into a stationary train in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, on Thursday. The incident is the country’s second major rail collision in the past two months.
The accident took place in Gaddafi Town in the Landhi area here at 7:18 am when Zakaria Express crashed into Fareed Express, which was waiting for signal to move onto the city station in Karachi at Juma Goth Train station.
“It all happened because railways officials gave the wrong signal to Zakaria Express, which was coming from Multan,” advisor to the Sindh Chief Minister on Labour Saeed Ghani said.
Ghani said railway officials were trying to confirm how many passengers were in both the trains. However, he added that the figure could be around 1,000.
Two bogies of Fareed Express and one bogie of Zakaria Express were completely destroyed in the collision. TV footage showed mangled and overturned carriages. Local media reported rescuers were working to save people trapped in the wreckage.
Cranes were being used to clear the rubble and rescue the passengers.
“Electric cutters are being used to cut through the mangled wreckage,” said railways senior superintendent Jahandad.
The crash resulted in traffic jam and ambulances carrying the injured got stuck on roads. All trains from Karachi have been suspended till rescue work is completed. “It will take some time before the track is cleared and railway traffic can be restored because this was a big collision,” Jahandad said.
Fareed Express was coming to Karachi from Lahore, while Zakaria Express had set off from Multan.
Eyewitnesses said they had watched in horror as Zakaria Express rammed into the parked Fareed Express from behind, which led to three carriages overturning and damage to both trains.
A senior police official said the toll was over 21. As many as 50 injured were brought to the Jinnah Hospital, said Dr Seemi Jamali, Head of the hospital’s Emergency Department. “Many victims have suffered head injuries and some are in a critical condition,” she added.
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed grief over the loss of lives in accident. Sharif has ordered an immediate inquiry into the accident and directed the authorities concerned to provide medical facilities to the injured.
Railway minister Khwaja Saad Rafique announced Rs 1,000,000 as compensation for the dead and Rs 500,000 for the injured. He tweeted that an “independent inquiry” will be held to hold accountable those responsible for the incident.
In September, six persons were killed and over 150 were injured when a Karachi-bound train rammed into a stationary freight train near Multan in Punjab province in a pre-dawn accident.
1. The accident took place in Karachi when Zakaria Express crashed into Fareed Express at 7:18 am
2. Over 1,000 passengers might be travelling in the trains when the accident took place, say officials
3. Two bogies of Fareed Express and one bogie of Zakaria Express completely damaged in crash
4. All trains from Karachi have been suspended
5. In September, six persons were killed and over 150 were injured when a Karachi-bound train rammed into a stationary freight train near Multan