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Monday Jun 07 2021
Web Desk

Mohammad Hafeez extends condolences to victims of Ghotki train accident

Web Desk
Pakistan cricket all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez. Photo: File

Former Pakistani cricket captain Mohammad Hafeez on Monday took to his Twitter account and extended condolences to the victims of the Ghotki train collision.

"Sad to know about #TrainAccident in #Ghotki deepest condolences to all affected families," wrote Hafeez. 

On Monday morning, two express trains collided in Sindh's Ghotki and killed over 40 passengers, while more than 100 people sustained injuries, said police and rescue officials.

The Millat Express derailed and the Sir Syed Express train hit it soon afterwards, railways officials confirmed, saying that the collision took place between the Raiti and Obaro railway stations.

A rescue operation is underway at the site of the crash and the injured are being shifted to hospitals.

Ghotki SSP Umar Tufail confirmed the death toll and told Geo News that the deceased has been transported to surrounding hospitals.

He said he expected the toll to shoot up as there were still mangled train compartments that rescuers had not been able to access despite the passage of hours since the accident in Ghotki.

He said there were up to 25 people in one compartment yet to be accessed.

What happened?

The accident occurred after the coaches of one train, the Millat Express, derailed and fell across the opposite track, where they were hit by another train, the Sir Syed Express, a spokesperson for Pakistan Railways had said in a statement.

Eight bogies of Millat Express and three bogies, including the engine, of Sir Syed Express, derailed.

A rescue operation was launched some hours after the accident was reported. The injured and deceased were shifted to hospitals in Sadiqabad, Daharki and Mirpur Mathelo.

Sources confirmed that four railway employees are among those killed in the train accident.

PM Imran Khan orders 'comprehensive investigation' into railways safety fault lines

Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed shock at the loss of lives from the Ghotki train accident and ordered a "comprehensive investigation" into it.

Taking to Twitter, the prime minister instructed Railways Minister Azam Swati to arrive at the site and help the injured with the provision of medical assistance.

"Shocked by the horrific train accident at Ghotki early this morning leaving 30 passengers dead. Have asked Railway Minister to reach the site and ensure medical assistance to the injured and support for families of the dead. Ordering a comprehensive investigation into railway safety fault lines," he tweeted. 

Rs1.5 million in aid announced for heirs of deceased

The railway authorities have formed an investigation committee, being headed by a 21-grade officer to probe the crash.

They have also announced Rs1.5 million each for the heirs of those killed in the accident.

Depending on the nature of their injuries, victims of the crash will be given a minimum of Rs100,000 and a maximum of Rs300,000.

According to the railways' spokesperson, a relief train has been diverted from Rohri to the accident site. Railways and local police and local administration are present on the spot for relief work, while help centres have been set up in Karachi, Sukkur, Faisalabad, and Rawalpindi.

Two information centres have been set up in the Karachi division for information about the accident, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Railways said.

One has been set up at the Cantt Station in Karachi and one in Hyderabad.

The Karachi one can be contacted on 0331-2716334 and 0300-3754200, while you can contact the Hyderabad centre on 022-9200483, 022-9200258, 022-9200678 and 022-9200674.

The Khairpur deputy commissioner has issued a helpline number that passengers can call on. The number is 0332-5895316.

The spokesperson said that most of the injured have been discharged after first aid, while trains will be diverted to their destination as soon as the track is restored. Passengers of Sir Syed Express have been diverted to the Sadiqabad railway station.