Thursday Sep 15, 2016

Train crash near Multan claims six lives, over 150 injured

MULTAN: At least six people were killed and over 150 injured after Karachi-bound Awam Express collided with a freight train near Multan early on Thursday, officials and railways sources said.

The incident took place near Bucch railway station in Sher Shah area, some 25 kilometers from here.

The accident occurred when a man was reportedly overrun by a freight train and the freight train driver stopped the train to take out the body, said DCO Nadir Chattha. 15 minutes later Awam Express heading on the same line collided with the stationary goods train.

The driver of Awam Express has been declared responsible for the accident, which left at least six people dead and wounded over 150, out of which 10 were said to be in precarious condition. Three people trapped inside damaged carriages were also saved, said rescue workers. 

250 rescue workers provided medical aid to 50 injured passengers on the spot before transferring them to the hospital. All the injured have been taken out of the train. The rescue work lasted four hours.  

The collision wrecked the engine and power van, and overturned four bogies of Awam Express.

CEO Railways Javaid Anwar told Geo News the accident was a result of the Awam Express driver's negligence as he ignored the signal and did not stop the train in time. The CEO added that an initial report on the accident has been sent to the government. 

The train's driver and foreman jumped out of the train and escaped, initial investigation revealed. 

All the injured and dead were taken to Nishtar Hospital in Multan, he said. He also announced that one lakh rupees will be given to each injured.

A delay was initially observed in response by rescue services due to Eid holidays, according to sources. Relief works were also affected as darkness prevailed in the vicinity.

The passenger train was en route to Karachi from Peshawar.

Meanwhile, authorities imposed emergency at Multan's Nishtar Medical Hospital and Shahbaz Sharif Hospital. Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr. Ashiq appealed to citizens to donate blood for the wounded.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offered condolences to the victims of the accident and instructed that the injured be provided the best treatment available. He also offered prayer of forgiveness for the dead.