51 killed, over 100 injured as Pakistani train smashes into derailed carriages - GulfToday

51 killed, over 100 injured as Pakistani train smashes into derailed carriages


This photo shows the Paramilitary soldiers and rescue workers at the site following a collision between two trains in Pakistan.

Tariq Butt, Correspondent / AP

An express train barreled into another that had derailed in Pakistan before dawn Monday, killing at least 51 people and setting off a desperate effort to search the crumpled cars for survivors and the dead, authorities said.

More than 100 other people were injured. Cries for help pierced the night as passengers climbed out of overturned or crushed rail cars. The pleas continued to echo throughout the day at the scene in the district of Ghotki, in the southern province of Sindh.
Soldiers and volunteers work at the site of a train collision in Ghotki district. AFP

Heavy machinery arrived to cut open some cars, and more than 15 hours after the crash, rescuers carefully removed wreckage as they looked for anyone who might remain trapped - though hopes were fading for survivors. The military deployed troops, engineers and helicopters to assist.

Ghotki Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Umar Tufail confirmed the death toll, and feared it may rise.
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Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was shocked by the 'horrific accident' and added that he had asked the railways minister to reach the site of the accident and ensure medical assistance to the injured and support for the families of those who lost their lives in the mishap. He also said he was ordering a comprehensive investigation into railway safety faultlines.

The chief ministers of Punjab and Sindh expressed their condolences on the loss of precious lives.
Pak-train-accident-main1-750Security personnel and onlookers stand at the site of a train accident in Ghotki. AFP

The Millat Express, on its way to Lahore, and Sir Syed Express, going to Karachi, collided near the Mirpur Mathelo railway station.

A Pakistan Railway (PR) spokesman said the collision occurred between Raiti and Obaro railway stations. He added that the accident occurred after the coaches of one train, the Millat Express, derailed and fell across the opposite track, where they were hit by another train, the Sir Syed Express.
Trainaccident-corpsesPeople gather near dead bodies at the site of a collision between two trains in Ghotki. Reuters

Tufail expected the toll to shoot up as there were still mangled train compartments that rescuers had not been able to access despite the passage of hours after the accident.

The Pakistan army and the paramilitary Rangers also reached the incident site and are taking part in the rescue efforts.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said military doctors and ambulances have been dispatched from Pano Aqil and are participating in the rescue operation. Army engineers and specialist teams of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) are being airlifted from Rawalpindi to aid the efforts.

The ISPR added that two helicopters are being flown from Multan for casualty evacuations while relief goods are being prepared and will be dispatched “shortly.”
Train-accidentPakJuneSoldiers and volunteers work at the site of a train collision in the Ghotki district. AP

The Ghotki deputy commissioner said that 13 to 14 bogies had derailed in the incident while six to eight were completely destroyed. He said that citizens that were still trapped were a challenge for rescue officials.

He said that a relief train had departed from Rohri, adding that the local administration and rescue teams were present on the site of the accident. However, the official refused to give a timeframe for the rescue operation.

"This is a challenging task. It will take time to use heavy machinery to free citizens still trapped," he said. He said that an emergency had been declared in the district and all doctors and paramedical staff had been put on call. "We are also establishing a medical camp to provide medical aid to citizens.”

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