Sept 15 (NIA) – At least six people were killed and over 150 injured when a passenger train collided with a freight train in Pakistan’s central Punjab region in the early hours of Thursday, police said.
The Awami Express, heading to Karachi from Peshawar, struck a goods train which was standing on the tracks after it had run over a man crossing the railway track.
Rescue officials, quoted in the Dawn said that around 50 injured were shifted to Nishtar Hospital in Multan, while more than 50 were provided first aid on the spot.
Forty ambulances, along with 200 rescuers from Lodhran, Muzafar Garh and Multan participated in the search and rescue operations. Several trapped passengers had to be pulled from the wreckage.
The accident occurred after the end of a three-day public holiday for the festival of Eid al-Adha, with many returning from their family homes to the cities where they work.
A railway official, quoted in AlJazeera blamed the accident on the passenger train driver, saying he failed to heed a red signal that went up after the goods train had stopped.
Train accidents are common in Pakistan with the railways sector being plagued by corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.
Last November, 19 people were killed in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province after a train’s brakes failed and it sped down the side of a mountain.
In July 2015, at least 17 people were killed when a special military train fell into a canal after a bridge partially collapsed.
About 130 people were killed in July 2005 when a train collided with another at a station in Sindh province, and a third train hit the wreckage, AlJazeera reported.