'Technical faults, negligence' behind Sunday's train accident in southern Pakistan, says minister

'Technical faults, negligence' behind Sunday's train accident in southern Pakistan, says minister

Initial probe report submitted by 6-member team says fish plates of track at accident site were missing and at one point, broken track was joined by wooden piece

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Funerals for several victims of Sunday's massive train accident in southern Pakistan were held in different parts of the country, as preliminary investigations revealed that "technical faults" and "negligence" resulted in the deadly mishap.

At least 30 people were killed and over 100 injured when 10 cars of a passenger train derailed near Nawabshah district, about 267 kilometers (166 miles) from the country's commercial capital Karachi.

The ill-fated train was on its way from Karachi to the northeastern garrison city of Rawalpindi.

An initial investigation report has been submitted by a six-member investigation team, but it is not "final," according to Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq.

The final report, he added, will be submitted within the next 48 hours.

Rafiq told reporters in northeastern Lahore city, where Pakistan Railways has its headquarters, that the preliminary investigation report, which is not unanimous, has pointed out the negligence of the mechanical and technical departments.

The report also mentioned that fish plates of the track at the accident site were also missing and that at one point, the broken track was joined by a wooden piece.

Moreover, the train's engine wheels were not properly maintained, it added.

The report did not rule out the possibility of "sabotage," but at least three members of the committee did not agree, local broadcaster Geo News reported, citing railway sources.

Earlier, during a press conference, Rafiq said "lack of resources" was the major cause of the accident.

Train accidents are common in the South Asian country, mainly owing to poor infrastructure and lax safety standards.

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