At least 19 dead, dozens wounded as train hits passenger coach in Sukkur
SUKKUR: At least 19 people lost their lives and more than 30 sustained injuries as Pakistan Express train collided with a passenger bus at a railway crossing near Rohri railway station, ARY News reported on Friday.
Sindh transport minister Owais Shah told media that the death toll rises to 19. He told media that the provincial authorities have contacted railway administration for closing the crossing. He blamed railway administration for showing negligence over the issue.
Shah added that the road closer to the railway crossing is in good condition and he is unaware of the reason why the bus driver did not travel through a bridge over there.
Police officials and rescue teams rushed at the scene immediately and commenced relief activities. Police said that 15 persons died and more than 30 people were wounded in the incident.
Rescue activities are underway to shift affected people to the hospital. Rangers officials have also reached the site and started activities to pull out affectees from the passenger bus.
The wounded persons include Khurram Mumtaz (25-year-old), Faisal s/o Jawaid (35), Habibullah (48), Abu Fazl s/o Muhammad Hassan, Khurram s/o Shehzad (35), Salahuddin s/o Salimuddin (48), Abida d/o Mumtaz (13), Muhammad Salim s/o Muhammad Ilyas (30), Aamir Shehzad s/o Muhammad Qadeer (35), Tahir s/o Raza Muhammad (25), Nasir s/o Ghulam Rasool (35), Abdul Qayyum s/o Naik Muhammad (35) and Qamaruddin s/o Naik Muhammad (38).
Three unknown people are also among the injured including an 80-year-old man, 20-year-old and 35-year-old women.
Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rasheed, expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the Rohri incident.
The spokesperson of Pakistan Railways said the incident was apparently happened due to negligence of the bus driver. He added the locomotive was also damaged and an assistant driver of the train sustained injuries. An inquiry will be made into the incident by FGIR, added the spokesperson.
The driver of Pakistan Express told ARY News that the train was en route to its destination on its fixed speed when a passenger coach suddenly came in front of it near a railway crossing. The driver said he has tried to stop the train through emergency brake but the collision took place with the bus due to lesser distance.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed sorrow over the deaths in the incident and ordered the Sindh government to ensure best medical treatment to the wounded persons.
DS Sukkur told media that Pakistan Express has departed towards its destination. He said that Karakoram Express, Jinnah Express and Allama Iqbal Express trains were stopped at different railway stations following the accident. The trains are being cleared for resume operations, he added.
Earlier in July last year, Akbar Express had hit a parked freight train at the Walhar Railway Station which claimed lives of 24.
Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said trains’ collision at Sadiqabad occurred due to human negligence. The minister had announced that 1.5 million rupees would be given as compensation for each deceased, 500,000 rupees each to critically injured and 200,000 rupees to each who received minor injuries.