34 killed, over 80 wounded as Hazara Express derails near Nawabshah
40 injured passengers' condition is critical, Pak Army, Rangers personnel begin rescue activities: Minister for railways orders probe
By News Desk
August 6, 2023 02:41 PM
At least 34 people were killed while more than 80 others were injured when 10 bogies of Hazara Express, coming from Karachi to Havelian, derailed near Sirhari railway station, situated between Nawabshah and Shahzadpur, on Sunday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Soon afterwards, ambulance services and police reached the accident site.
After the accident, the up track was suspended for other trains.
According to rescue officials, the bodies as well as the injured were shifted to People’s Medical Hospital in Nawabshah, while a state of emergency was declared at all nearby hospitals.
The local administration appealed to people to donate their blood to the injured. According to the channel report, 40 injured passengers' condition was critical.
The cause of the derailment was not known till the filing of this report as officials reached the site to probe the incident.
Pak Army, Rangers personnel begin rescue activities
Soon afterwards, on the special instructions of Army Chief General Asim Munir, contingents of the Pakistan Army and Rangers reached site of the incident and started relief and rescue activities immediately.
The contingents also brought with them food items for the affected people.
More contingents of army and Rangers were called in from Hyderabad and Sakrand.
Besides that, helicopters of Pakistan Army’s aviation also left for the accident site in order airlift the injured to hospitals.
Images posted to local media show dozens of people at the site, with some smashing windows to help passengers clamber out of the twisted carriages and at least one coach overturned.
Help desks set up at Lahore, Faisalabad railway stations
To make the people well-informed about the details related to the Hazara Express train accident, help desks have been set up at Lahore and Faisalabad railway stations.
According to the Pakistan Railways Lahore Division spokesperson, official staff has been appointed at help desks at Lahore and Faisalabad railway stations.
The spokesperson said help desk staff will be available round the clock to guide passengers.
Minister for Railways orders probe
On the other hand, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique ordered a probe into the train crash.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, he informed that he had directed the department officials to immediately start the investigation.
The minister said the speed of the train at the time of the accident was 45 kilometres per hour.
"This is quite a big accident. Rescue teams have reached on-site and at least 15 passengers were killed and 45 injured," Khawaja Saad Rafique told reporters.
"More rescue teams have been dispatched to the site."
Relieve train from Hyderabad leaves for Nawabshah
A relief train, carrying bogies and heavy machinery, left Hyderabad for Nawabshah.
Sindh CM Murad offers condolences
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah offered his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the incident. “The incident has deeply saddened me,” he said and ordered the provision of medical treatment to the injured forthwith.
Punjab CM Naqvi grieved over incident
Punjab Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi, who was at Tashkent in Uzbekistan at the time of the accident, also offered his condolences to the bereaved families.
He said he had been saddened by the incident. “The Punjab government shares the grief of those who lost their near and dear ones in the tragedy,” he said in his message, adding, “Our sympathies and prayers are with them. May the departed souls rest in eternal peace.”
Accidents and derailments occur frequently on Pakistan's antiquated railway system.
In June 2021 two trains collided near Daharki in Sindh killing at least 65 people and injuring about 150 others.
In that accident, an express derailed onto the opposite track, and a second passenger train crashed into the wreckage roughly a minute later.
At least 75 passengers burnt to death in a fire aboard the Tezgam express train in October 2019, while a two-train collision at Ghotki killed more than 100 people in 2005.
Reporters: Haider Khanzada, Ahmad Mansoor, Ali Hamza