A passenger train derailed in southern Pakistan, killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 90, local broadcaster Geo reported.
- Women and children were among the dead and injured
- The minister for railways said the crash could be due to a mechanical fault or the result of sabotage
- Train crashes often occurred on poorly maintained railways tracks in Pakistan
Ten cars on The Hazara Express derailed on Sunday near a town in the southern province of Sindh, around 275 kilometres from Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi.
Senior railway officer Mahmoodur Rehman Lakho said injured passengers were transported by rescue teams to the Peoples Hospital in nearby Nawabshah.
Senior police officer Abid Baloch said from the scene of the accident that the rescue operation was complete: dozens of the injured had been brought to safety and the last flipped car cleared.
He said women and children were among the dead and injured.
Local television showed rescue teams extracting women, children and elderly passengers from damaged and overturned cars.
Some of the injured were lying on the ground crying for help while locals gave out water and food.
Ihtesham Ali was desperately searching for his family members amidst the chaotic situation.
“Seven members of my family and 22 from my neighbourhood were missing and so far we found only four of them, [the] rest are still missing,” he said.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif prayed and expressed his grief during a political gathering in Punjab.
“We all pray, may Allah grant a place in heaven to those who passed away and I wish quick recovery for the injured,” he said.
Senior railway officer Mohsin Sayal said train traffic was suspended on the main railway line as repair trains were sent to the scene.
Mr Sayal said alternative travel arrangements and medical care would be available for passengers.
Minister for Railways Khaja Saad Rafiq said the crash could be due to a mechanical fault or the result of sabotage and an investigation was underway.
A major train crash in Sindh in 2021 killed 56 people and injured more than 100.
Train crashes often occur on poorly maintained railway tracks in Pakistan where colonial-era communications and signal systems have not been upgraded and safety standards are poor.
Successive governments have worked to secure funds to upgrade the network as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative for infrastructure projects.
Source : ABC News