At least 6 killed, 150 injured in Pakistan train crash
The pre-dawn incident took place near Bucch railway station in the Sher Shah area, when Awam Express from Peshawar to Karachi rammed a goods train, whose driver had stopped to remove the body of a man overrun by it, said official Nadir Chattha.
The passenger train moving reportedly at a speed of over 100 km per hour collided with the goods train. “The Awam Express driver was given the red signal, but he could not stop the train in time, resulting in the collision,” said a senior railways General Manager Javed Anwar, adding that an inquiry committee had been constituted to probe the incident.
The collision wrecked the engine and power van, and overturned four bogies of Awam Express, he added.
Initial investigations suggest that the driver of passenger train was at fault for the crash. The incident left at least six people dead and wounded over 150, of which 18 were in a serious condition, said rescue official Abdul Jabbar.
The express train’s driver and foreman jumped out of the train and are on the run.
“Many passengers were rescued after cutting the coaches. The rescue operation was completed in around four hours and all injured have been shifted to Nishter and other hospitals of Multan,” said Jabbar, adding that most of the passengers were sleeping at the time of collision.
About 250 rescue workers provided medical aid to 50 injured passengers on the spot, before transferring them to hospitals. All injured persons have been rescued from the train. He said four coaches of the passenger train have completely been destroyed in the accident.
Meanwhile, authorities have imposed emergency at Multan’s Nishtar Medical Hospital and Shahbaz Sharif Hospital. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan have expressed their grief over the incident and have directed the authorities concerned to provide the best medical treatment to the injured. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also offered condolences to the victims.
The railways have seen decades of decline due to several factors, including corruption and lack of investment. Last November, 13 people lost their lives in southwestern Baluchista, after a train’s brakes failed and it sped down the side of a mountain.