Tuesday Jun 08, 2021
LAHORE: The Ghotki train accident took place after a track's welding joint broke, causing the Millat Express train to crash onto a down track, says an initial investigation report into the crash.
At least 50 people were killed and over 100 injured during the wee hours of Monday when Sir Syed Express and the Millat Express collided in Pakistan's Dharki town near the Mirpur Mathello railway station.
Sources told Geo News the initial investigation report had been finalised and as per the report, 51 people had died in the crash.
The accident took place when the welding joint of the up track's right side broke, causing 12 coaches of the Millat Express to crash onto a down track.
The Karachi-bound Sir Syed Express, as a result, collided with Millat Express' coaches on the down track, causing the accident.
The engine of Sir Syed Express and four coaches derailed as a result of the accident, said the report, adding that experts were retrieving data from the black boxes of both train engines.
The report, as per sources, stated that the data obtained from the black boxes will be included in the investigation report of the Federal Inspectors of Railways.
Six coaches and the engine of Millat Express did not derail, said the report, adding that 12 passenger coaches of Sir Syed Express also did not derail from the collision.
Sir Syed Express was on its way from Karachi to Rawalpindi, stated the report, adding that Millat Express, on the other hand, was heading towards Sargodha from Karachi.
A little over a day after the accident, the track was restored for train service. DS Sukkur Tariq Latif said the rescue operation had been completed after the government cleared the track, retrieving the 17 coaches that had been affected by the crash and the train's engine.
"The up and down track has been restored; have received orders to resume train service," he said, adding that the track had been closed since 3:40am Monday morning.
Latif said trains which were unable to continue their journey since Sunday, were allowed to resume their operations. "The speed of trains travelling on affected routes has been kept slow, for the time being," he said.
The death toll rose today after seven more bodies were recovered from the crash site. Out of the 100 injured in the accident, some of them are expected to be in critical condition.
Bodies have started to arrive at people's homes, where burials are taking place. In Lodhran, a large number of people attended the funeral prayers of two brothers, their cousins and mother who all died in the accident.
Meanwhile, Minister for Railways Azam Swati arrived at the crash site to oversee the rescue operations. Swati said if his resignation meant the deceased can come back to life, he was ready to do so.
Promising a comprehensive inquiry, Swati said people will witness that those found responsible in the Ghotki train crash will be punished.
He said train tracks in the Sukkur Division were in poor conditions but added that train tracks were in better condition at the place where the crash took place.
"We have to find out now who is responsible for this accident," he said, adding that 18 people had been punished when the first train accident took place after he held the reins of the ministry.