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Pakistan train accident: death count rises to 62, say reports

Pakistan train accident: death count rises to 62, say reports

Karachi: At least 62 people are killed and over 100 injured in the deadly train accident in Pakistan's Sindh province rose on Tuesday, according to the media reports.

One of the country's worst train accidents took place on early Monday morning between Reti and Daharki railway stations where eight carriages of Millat Express derailed just before Sir Syed Express rammed into them near Dharki, a city located in the Ghotki district of upper Sindh.

The driver tried to apply emergency brakes but the locomotive hit the infringing coaches,"said the spokesperson of Pakistani railways said in an initial report.

Rescuing trapped passengers was a "challenge" for the rescue officials who had to employ heavy machinery to free people. The efforts were hampered by lack of appropriate cutters.

However, the divisional superintendent of Railways,Sukkur Tariq Latif has informed that the rescue operation are completed and the track has been cleared after retrieving 17 coaches that had been damaged by the crash and the engine of the train, as reported by Geo News.

"The up and down track has been restored. We have received orders to resume train service," he said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has demanded an immediate inquiry into the train tragedy.

Other Opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) also demanded a parliamentary debate over the accident.

Promising a comprehensive inquiry in the matter, Minister for Railways Azam Swati said he was ready to file a resignation of that would bring the dead people back to life.

"We have to find out now who is responsible for this accident," he added.

According to a senior former railways official, train accidents happen from time to time all over Pakistan as the railways network remains outdated in many places.The railways have seen decades of decline due to graft, mismanagement and lack of investment.

"In some areas, they are still using the same network and tracks which were laid before the Partition," one former official said.

In July 2020, at least 20 people were killed when the Shah Hussain Express train rammed into a coaster near Sheikhupura in Punjab.

He said that ever since the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan came into power in 2018, train tragedies have become more frequent, while government's ministers are busy doing politics over them.

The convener of the standing committee's sub-committee on railways, Ramesh Lal, and MQM's Sabir Hussain Kaim Khani admitted that the railways authorities failed to take timely action in spite of being repeatedly apprised of the poor train-safety.

Around 30 people were travelling on the vehicle from Nankana Sahib to Peshawar, out of whom 13 males and seven females died in the accident. The dead included 19 Sikh pilgrims and the driver of the vehicle.

This incident came four months after a bus crossing an unmanned railway crossing near Rohri in Sindh was crushed by the Lahore-bound Pakistan Express train coming from Karachi on February 28, 2020, killing at least 19 people and leaving more than 30 injured

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