Death toll hits 16 in Pakistan’s train collision; 84 injured
Published: 05:31 PM, 11 July 2019
At least 16 people were killed while 84 others reported injured when a passenger train, the Akbar Express, collided with a freight train at the Walhar Railway Station in Southern Pakistan, Sadiqabad on Thursday morning, officials said.
Rahim Yar Khan Deputy Commissioner (DC) Jamil Ahmed Jamil said all passengers onboard the train, which was headed to Quetta, had been removed from the wreckage and track clearance operations were underway.
Earlier, Jamil had said that heavy machinery was being used to remove passengers who were stuck in the train, adding that they were being provided with food and water.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered authorities to provide the best possible medical care to the victims and said he was saddened by the news.
Khan ordered Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad to "take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect of railway infrastructure" and ensure safety standards.
A police spokesperson said that police, rescue officials and other relevant agencies were busy in the rescue operations. Authorities said the Pakistan Army was also taking part in the rescue efforts.
He said that ambulances from various areas in the district had started reaching the site of the incident in order to shift the injured to DHQ Sadiqabad and Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Rahim Yar Khan.
The spokesperson said that as soon as they received information about the accident, Sadiqabad ASP Dr Hafeezur Rehman Bugti and a large contingent of police had reached the site of the incident.
Rahim Yar Khan DPO Umar Farooq Salamat said that based on initial reports, when the signal changed on the track, the passenger train went on to the loop line where a freight train was parked resulting in the accident.
Prime Minister Imran Khan offered his condolences to the families of the victims.
Authorities said Pakistan's army was also taking part in the rescue efforts.
Train accidents in Pakistan are often the result of poor railway infrastructure and official negligence.