Engineers partially restore rail service after train derailed in southern Pakistan, killing 30

Officials say engineers have partially restored passenger rail service in southern Pakistan, a day after a passenger train derailed there, killing at least 30 people and injuring 90 others

Asim Tanveer
Monday 07 August 2023 10:54 BST

Authorities in southern Pakistan partially restored passenger rail service on Monday after a passenger train derailed, killing at least 30 people, officials said, as funerals began for the victims.

Aqeel Ahmed Qureshi, a doctor at a hospital in the district of Nawabshah in Sindh province, said 27 bodies of the victims had been handed over to their relatives, while three bodies were yet to be identified. Dozens of injured people were still being treated at the hospital, while mourners took the bodies of some of the victims to their hometowns after holding their funerals in Nawabshah, police said.

The latest development came hours after Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq said engineers had opened a probe into the train accident.

“Unfortunately," he told reporters, “we don't have enough funds to properly maintain our aging railway tracks, and yesterday's train crash apparently took place because of it.”

The deadly crash happened on Sunday when 10 cars of the Hazara Express train went off the tracks near the Sarhari railway station. Train traffic was suspended, and work on the main line is still underway, Baloch said.

On Monday, local television showed engineers clearing the railway track.

“We have been told by engineers that the rail service will be fully restored today,” Baloch said.

After the crash, many passengers complained that they were waiting for the resumption of the train service from Karachi to the eastern Punjab province.

Authorities say military and paramilitary troops helped rescue workers and rescued trapped passengers. The most seriously injured passengers were transported to distant hospitals in military helicopters for better treatment.

Train accidents in Pakistan are often the result of poor railway infrastructure and official negligence.

In 2021, at least 65 people were killed in Sindh province when two trains collided in the district of Ghotki. In 1990, a packed passenger train plowed into a standing freight train in southern Pakistan, killing 210 people in the worst rail disaster in the nation’s history.

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