At least 35 passengers died at dawn this Monday for the collision of two fast trains in southern Pakistan, authorities said.
Rescuers and villagers they kept working hours later to remove the injured and corpses from the accident from the formations.
Between 15 and 20 passengers were still trapped on the Millat Express train and authorities moved heavy machinery to rescue victims who were begging for help, said Umar Tufail, chief of police for the Ghotki district in Sindh province, where the accident occurred.
The Millat Express got derailed and shortly after the Sir Syed Express collided with him, said Usman Abdula, de Ghotki’s deputy police commissioner. At the moment it is unknown what caused the derailment and collision.
“Right now the challenge for us is rescue those passengers fast that are still trapped in the wreckage, ” he said.
For now, they were confirmed 35 dead and dozens injuredRailways Minister Azam Swati told The Associated Press.
“I am on my way to the Ghotki district, where the tragic train accident occurred today,” he said, while drivers and experts they were trying to determine what caused the crash.
Swati stated that all possibilities will be considered, including sabotage. “At this time we are not sure what caused the train accident,” he said.
Between the two trains about 1,100 passengers were traveling, according to railway officials. A plan was being organized to help the survivors.
Some of the passengers traveling on the Millat Express they were going to a wedding celebrationlocal media reported, but it was unclear if they were among the victims.
Television images showed ambulances transporting the wounded to area hospitals. According to Pakistani chains, heavy machinery had not arrived at the scene about four hours later of the accident.
The authorities they sent soldiers to the place to participate in rescue efforts, according to a military statement.
Pakistani Prime Minister expressed regret for the tragedy. Imran Khan reported on Twitter that he had asked the Minister of Railways to supervise the rescue efforts and ordered an investigation.
Aijaz Ahmed, the conductor of the train that collided with the derailed train, told Pakistani TV Geo News that seeing the derailed carriages did everything he could to slow down and avoid the accident, but did not succeed. He did not explain how he survived.
Authorities said they sent at least 50 wounded to the hospital, where several were in critical condition.
Malik Aslam, a local resident, told Geo News TV that about 100 people were injured and that counted at least 30 bodies during rescue and recovery efforts.
Rail accidents they are usual in pakistan, where successive governments have paid little attention to improving the poorly maintained signaling system and aging roads.
In 1990, a packed passenger train crashed into a stationary freight train in southern Pakistan. It was the worst rail disaster in the country’s history, with 210 dead.
With information from AP