At least 30 people were killed and dozens injured early Monday in a collision between two passenger trains in southern Pakistan, officials and local media reported.
A spokesperson for the Pakistan Railways said the accident occurred when the bogies of Millat Express train, going from Karachi to Sargodha, derailed and crossed onto the opposite rail track. The Sir Syed Express train coming from Rawalpindi crashed into the derailed train. The accident occurred between Raiti and Obaro railway stations.
The Deputy Commissioner Ghotki, Usman Abdullah, told reporters that 30 bodies have been recovered and rescue workers backed by heavy machinery were trying to rescue over two dozen passengers still trapped in the wreckage.
More than 40 passengers were injured in the collision, some of them critically.
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The accident, he said, occurred after rear carriages of the northbound Millat Express derailed and drifted to the parallel track, resulting in a collision with the southbound Sir Syed Express.
Footage aired on local broadcaster Geo News showed rescue workers and locals pulling bodies and the injured out and loading them into ambulances. The badly damaged train cars were seen lying on the track.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said in he was shocked to hear about the accident and ordered an investigation.
Shocked by the horrific train accident at Ghotki early this morning leaving 30 passengers dead. Have asked Railway Minister to reach site & ensure medical assistance to injured & support for families of the dead. Ordering comprehensive investigation into railway safety faultlines
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 7, 2021
Pakistan has had a long history of train accidents, mainly because of poor infrastructure and a lack of safety standards.
On Oct. 31, 2019, more than 70 people died in an explosion on a moving train near Rahimyar Khan district of northeastern Punjab province which officials later blamed on a fire caused by a short-circuit.
At least 19 members of a small Sikh community died in a collision between a bus and a train in Punjab’s Sheikhupura district in July last year.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk