Train Clash: Death Toll rises to 21, 100 injured
RAHIM YAR KHAN:
The death toll rose to 21 in the collision between a Quetta-bound Akbar Express and a freight train at Walhar Railway Station near Rahim Yar Khan on Thursday. More than 100 people sustained critical injuries in the tragic incident.
According to reports, Rahim Yar Khan District Police Officer (DPO) Umer Salamat told the media that a rescue operation was launched and hydraulic cutters were brought at the site to retrieve bodies of the deceased. Meanwhile, injured persons were shifted to the hospitals of Sadiqabad and Rahim Yar khan where emergency has been declared. Rahim Yar Khan’s deputy commissioner has established a control room to provide necessary information to the victim families. The numbers of control room are 068-9230109 and 0300-9402579.
According to details, the passenger train was travelling to Quetta from Lahore when it rammed into a freight train standing at Walhar Railway Station. The impact of the collision was so immense that the passenger train’s engine and three bogies were completely destroyed. Pakistan Army soldiers and an army helicopter rushed to the spot for initial rescue operation.
President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the train accident near Sadiqabad. In their separate messages, they directed to provide best possible medical treatment to the injured.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he has asked Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed to take emergency steps to counter decades of negligence in maintenance of the railway’s infrastructure and ensure safety standards.
The railways minister said the investigation has been initiated into the unfortunate accident. Rasheed claimed that the trains’ collision occurred due to human negligence, and ordered to launch high-level investigation. The federal minister expressed deep grief over the occurrence and said the incident scenes that are being shown on media are very painful.
Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan has also expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the train accident.
Akbar Express that met an accident at Walhar Railway Station near Sadiqabad on Thursday morning has left for Quetta, carrying passengers. According to the spokesperson for Railways, passengers have been seen off in the Akbar Express coaches which were technically fit. Meanwhile, the federal government railways’ inspectors have left for the accident site to examine and investigate the incident.
Pakistan Railways has set up an information cell in Sukkur Division for the heirs of those who were killed or injured in Akbar Express train accident. According to the Spokesperson for Pakistan Railways, people can get information about the passengers from the telephone numbers: 0719310087 and 03333993999.