15 killed, 40 injured as passenger train derails in southern Pakistan

15 killed, 40 injured as passenger train derails in southern Pakistan

Authorities fear rise in death toll as dozens of passengers still trapped inside toppled carriages, conditions of several injured are critical

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – At least 15 people were killed and 40 others injured when a passenger train derailed in southern Pakistan province of Sindh on Sunday afternoon, a government official said.

At least 10 carriages of Hazara Express, which was traveling from the port city of Karachi to the northeastern garrison city of Rawalpindi, derailed near the Nawabshah district, some 267 kilometers (165 miles) from Karachi, Pakistan Railways said.

Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq confirmed the death toll, saying the accident could be a result of a technical fault or an "act of sabotage."

The state-run media, citing health officials, said those killed and injured, including women and children, were brought to a hospital in Nawabshah city, 15 km (9.3 mi) away from the accident site.

Authorities feared a rise in the death toll as dozens of passengers are still trapped inside the toppled carriages, while conditions of several injured are critical.

Teams are facing difficulties in carrying out rescue operations and transporting injured to hospitals due to the remoteness of the accident site.

Footage played out by local broadcaster Geo News showed several carriages lying sideways on the track, while rescue teams backed by heavy machinery were trying to pull out the trapped passengers.

Another footage showed panicked survivors, including many women cradling their kids, standing near the derailed carriages at the remote accident site.

Train accidents are not rare in the South Asian nuclear country, mainly because of weak infrastructure and lax safety standards.

Some 63 passengers were killed in a collision between two trains in Sindh in June 2021.

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