ISLAMABAD (XINHUA) – A woman was killed and more than 25 others were injured when nine out of 18 compartments of a passenger train derailed in the Sukkur district of Pakistan’s south Sindh province in the wee hours of Sunday morning (March 7), Inspector-General of Pakistan Railways Police Arif Nawaz said.
He said the train was on its way to the eastern city of Lahore from Sindh’s provincial capital of Karachi.
The derailed compartments fell into a ditch owing to speeding, according to initial investigation, Commissioner of Sukkur district Shafiq Mahesar told the media.
However, divisional transportation officer of Sukkur Railways, Mr Shahbaz Babar, who is also heading the rescue operation, told Xinhua that the cause of the accident will be determined after the investigation.
He said rescue work on the Karachi Express had been conducted and completed by railway personnel, private rescue teams and army personnel.
Mr Babar added that two critically injured people have been moved to the hospital in the district while the remaining passengers who were hurt were given first-aid treatment at the station and then sent to Lahore with others.
“Sukkur is the junction point between Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces and receives a heavy flow of traffic during the peak hours. Thousands of passengers suffered delay due to the accident, and we have no choice but to move trains one after another,” Mr Babar said.
He said the traffic was flowing on a single line, and about 10 to 15 train services have been delayed due to the accident, adding that the recovery work of the affected track will take place after all delayed trains reached their destinations by passing by the single line adjustment in Sukkur.
Meanwhile, three out of nine derailed compartments have been removed from the ditch, he added.
The Federal Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati told the media he has formed a two-member team to determine the cause of the accident and strict action will be taken against the train driver if found guilty of negligence.