ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Two specific trains collided in southern Pakistan on Monday morning, killing at the least 32 passengers and injuring 80 others, officers mentioned, the most recent in a sequence of practice accidents which have raised severe questions in regards to the security of rail journey in the nation.
Most of the passengers had been asleep when the Millat Express, a passenger practice plying the southern port metropolis of Karachi to Sargodha in Punjab Province, derailed and fell throughout the observe. Within minutes, one other passenger practice, the Sir Syed Express, which was en path to Karachi from Lahore in jap Pakistan, crashed into the primary practice’s fallen carriages, leaving a mangled wreck, native information shops reported.
The collision occurred between railway stations in Daharki and Raiti in the southern Sindh Province, mentioned Nazia Jabeen, a spokeswoman for Pakistan Railways.
A rescue operation was underway, Ms. Jabeen mentioned. Several of the injured had been admitted to hospitals in the Rohri, Pannu Aqil and Sukkur districts, she mentioned, including that the dying toll was more likely to rise.
The Pakistan Army mentioned army medical doctors and paramedical workers from a close-by base had been collaborating in the aid effort. Army and paramilitary troops had been already on the accident website, and two military helicopters had been collaborating in evacuations.
Prime Minister Imran Khan mentioned on Twitter that he was “shocked by the horrific train accident” and had ordered a “comprehensive investigation into railway safety fault lines.”
Azam Khan Swati, the Pakistan Railways minister, mentioned a high-level inquiry has been ordered to probe the reason for the collision. “It is too early to say whether the accident was due to sabotage or due to the dilapidated condition of the train track,” Mr. Swati mentioned.
Pakistan has an abysmal train-safety file, and the system is suffering from corruption and mismanagement. Promises by successive governments to overtake the system have remained unfulfilled. Mr. Khan, who got here to energy in 2018, had vowed to modernize the system’s poorly maintained sign system and ageing tracks, and to make sure its security mechanisms.
But practice accidents have been frequent below Mr. Khan’s authorities, as nicely. More than 70 individuals had been killed when a practice caught hearth in 2019, in one of many worst practice accidents in latest years.
In 2005, three trains crashed in a lethal chain-reaction after a practice driver misinterpret a sign, killing at the least 127 individuals and injuring a whole lot extra in southern Pakistan. At least 210 individuals died and 700 others had been injured in 1990, when a practice on a 500-mile in a single day run south from Multan to Karachi hit an empty freight practice. Officials blamed an improperly set change.