At least 18 people were killed and dozens more injured when a passenger train rammed into a bus on Friday in Pakistan’s Sindh province, officials said.
The incident took place in Sukkur district, where the incoming Pakistan Express – on its way from Karachi to Lahore – hit the bus, which was heading to Sargodha in central Punjab province.
“At least 18 people have been killed and 55 wounded,” Rana Adeel, a deputy commissioner in Sukkur, told AFP, warning that the death toll could rise as some of those hurt were in critical condition.
Senior railway official Tariq Kolachi, who was at the scene, confirmed the updated toll to AFP and said the rescue operation was ongoing but complicated by the darkness.
Kolachi said the accident occurred at an unmanned railway crossing, and the bus split into two because of the force of the crash.
20 killed in train-bus accident in Sukkur, Karachi
Karachi, Feb 29, 2020 Saturday
Twenty people were reported killed in a train bus accident in the Sukkur area of Pakistan's commercial capital, Karachi.
— 24×7 Breaking NEWS (@24x7Breaking) February 29, 2020
“All those killed and injured were passengers from the coach,” he said, adding that an assistant train driver sustained minor injuries.
Rail accidents are common in Pakistan, which inherited thousands of kilometers of track and trains from former colonial power Britain.
The railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.
Emergency imposed in hospitals across Khairpur
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in the train accident near Rohri. He directed authorities to declare a state of emergency in hospitals across Khairpur to deal with the situation.
The chief minister directed hospital authorities to make arrangements for the provision of medicines and blood donations for the injured.
— Daily Aajkal Urdu Newspaper (@aajkalpk1) February 29, 2020
“All steps should be taken to save the lives of the injured,” he said.
AFP with additional inputs from News Desk