30 dead and dozens injured after train collision in Pakistan

7 June 2021, 08:55 | Updated: 7 June 2021, 11:22

Crowds gathered at the scene of the collision in Pakistan
Crowds gathered at the scene of the collision in Pakistan. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

At least 30 people have been killed and dozens more have been left injured after two passenger trains collided in southern Pakistan.

The Millat Express derailed and crashed into the Sir Syed Express shortly before dawn, Usman Abdullah, a deputy commissioner explained.

He said: "Right now the challenge for us is to quickly rescue those passengers who are still trapped in the wreckage."

It is estimated that 15 to 20 people are still trapped, which was confirmed by Umar Tufail, a police chief in the Ghotki district in Sindh province, where the collision occurred. Heavy machinery is being arranged to get people out as soon as possible.

Officials said at least 50 passengers had been transported to hospital, where some of the passengers were listed in a critical condition.

Aijaz Ahmed, the driver of the train that collided with the derailed train, told Pakistan's Geo News TV that on seeing it, he tried his best to avoid the accident by braking but failed.

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Army soldiers arrived to inspect the crash.
Army soldiers arrived to inspect the crash. Picture: PA
How the derailment happened is still unknown.
How the derailment happened is still unknown. Picture: PA

The military is involved in the relief and rescue operation, while doctors and ambulances having been sent from a nearby city and engineers are heading to Ghotki by helicopter.

Minister of Railways Azam Swati said engineers and experts were trying to work out how exactly the derailment happened.

Mr Swati said all aspects are set to be examined, including the possibility of sabotage.

About 1,100 passengers were on board the two trains, railway officials said.

Local media said some passengers travelling on the Millat Express were attending a wedding party, but it was unclear whether they were among the dead or injured.

Pakistan's Prime Minister has expressed his deep sorrow over the tragedy.