According to officials, two passenger trains collided in Pakistan’s southern Sindh Province early Monday (June 7) morning, killing at least 30 people and injuring 50 others.
According to a Pakistan Railways spokesperson, the accident occurred when the Millat Express train from Karachi to Sargodha derailed and fell on the opposite track, colliding with the Sir Syed Express train from Rawalpindi to Karachi.
The collision occurred near Dharki, a city in upper Sindh’s Ghotki district, in which the bogies of the Millat Express train overturned.
The hospitals in Ghotki, Dharki, Obaro, and Mirpur Mathelo have declared an emergency, and the injured have been rushed there.
Ghotki Deputy Commissioner Usman Abdullah told reporters that at least 30 people, including women, were killed and 50 others were injured in the incident.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed shock at the train derailment, saying he was “shocked by the horrific train accident.”
Shocked by the horrific train accident at Ghotki early this morning, which killed 30 passengers, the Railway Minister has asked to visit the site and ensure medical assistance to the injured as well as support for the families of the deceased. He announced on Twitter that he had ordered a thorough investigation into railway safety flaws.
Officials were having difficulty rescuing the people who had become trapped inside the overturned bogies.
According to Ghotki Deputy Commissioner Abdullah, 13 to 14 bogies derailed in the accident, with six to eight “completely destroyed.”
Rescue officials are facing a “challenge” in rescuing passengers who are still trapped, he said, adding that a relief train has left Rohri.
“This is a difficult task. It will take time for heavy machinery to be used to liberate citizens (still trapped). In addition, we are establishing a medical camp to provide medical assistance to citizens “He stated.
According to Ghotki Senior Superintendent of Police Umar Tufail, passengers were trapped in one of the bogies, and more casualties are expected “..
Some people died after being rescued from the wreckage, he said.
Over 1,000 passengers were on board the two trains, according to officials.
Around 20 passengers remained trapped in the wreckage of some of the damaged and overturned bogies, according to a railways department spokesperson, who added that officials were compiling all information about the passengers and crew on both trains.
The rescue operation will take some time to complete because heavy machinery is required to remove the damaged boogies, he said.
Authorities are concerned that the number of fatalities will rise despite the fact that rescue and relief personnel have been dispatched to the scene.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah expressed his condolences for the deaths and directed the Sukkur Commissioner to mobilise the district administration, according to Dawn news.
“Rescue equipment should be set up to help passengers who are still stuck. He also directed that arrangements be made at nearby hospitals to treat those who had been injured, as well as temporary lodging and food for the passengers.
“An information system should be established so that citizens can get accurate information,” said Sindh Chief Minister.
Pakistan Rangers troops have also arrived to assist the civil administration with rescue and relief efforts.
Train accidents are common in Pakistan, with dozens of people killed each year. The railways have been in decline for decades as a result of graft, mismanagement, and a lack of investment.
According to a senior former railway official, such accidents occur on a regular basis throughout Pakistan because the railway network is outdated in many places.
The former official added that in some areas, they are still using the same network and tracks that were laid before the partition.