cloudy.png
Wednesday September 22nd, 2021 11:16AM

Train barrels into another in Pakistan, killing at least 51

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GHOTKI, Pakistan (AP) — An express train barreled into another that had derailed in Pakistan before dawn Monday, killing at least 51 people and setting off a desperate effort to search the crumpled cars for survivors and the dead, authorities said.

More than 100 other people were injured. Cries for help pierced the night as passengers climbed out of overturned or crushed rail cars. The pleas continued to echo throughout the day at the scene in the district of Ghotki, in the southern province of Sindh.

Heavy machinery arrived to cut open some cars, and more than 15 hours after the crash, rescuers carefully removed wreckage as they looked for anyone who might remain trapped — though hopes were fading for survivors. The military deployed troops, engineers and helicopters to assist.

The Millat Express train derailed around 3:30 a.m., and the Sir Syed Express train hit it minutes later, said Usman Abdullah, a deputy commissioner of Ghotki. It was not immediately clear what caused the derailment, and the driver of the second train said he braked when he saw the disabled train but did not have time to avoid the collision.

About 1,100 passengers were aboard the two trains, rail officials said.

“The challenge for us is to quickly rescue those passengers who are still trapped in the wreckage," said Umar Tufail, a police chief in the district.

The death toll steadily rose through the day, and the chances of finding survivors were diminishing, said Rizwan Nazir, a district administration official.

Authorities brought in lights so rescuers could work through the night. Relatives of some of the missing passengers waited nearby.

Passengers with critical injuries were to be brought by helicopter to a nearby hospital.

Engineers and experts were trying to determine what caused the collision, said Azam Swati, the minister for railways who headed to the scene of the crash. He told The Associated Press that all aspects would be examined, including the possibility of sabotage.

The segment of the railway tracks where the crash took place was old and needed replacing, Habibur Rehman Gilani, chairman of Pakistan Railways, told Pakistan’s Geo News TV. He did not elaborate.

Aijaz Ahmed, the driver of the Sir Syed Express, told the station that on seeing the derailed train, he tried his best to avoid the crash by braking but failed. Railway officials said Ahmed was slightly injured, and villagers pulled him from the train's engine after the crash.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his deep sorrow over the tragedy, saying on Twitter that he asked the railway minister to supervise the rescue work and ordered a probe into the crash.

According to local media, some of the passengers on the Millat Express were heading to a wedding party.

Mohammad Amin, one of the passengers on the Millat Express who had minor injuries, told the AP from a hospital that before the train departed from the southern port city of Karachi, he and his brother saw mechanics working on one of the cars.

That led them to believe there was something wrong with it, but they were reassured all was fine. Amin said he believed the car that was being worked on was the one that later derailed. Railway officials said they were recording statements of survivors, including the drivers.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where successive governments have paid little attention to improving the poorly maintained signal system and aging tracks.

In 1990, a packed passenger plowed into a standing freight train in southern Pakistan, killing 210 people in the worst rail disaster in the nation's history.

___

Associated Press Writer Munir Ahmed contributed to story from Islamabad.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Train barrels into another in Pakistan, killing at least 51
Authorities say an express train barreled into another that had derailed in Pakistan before dawn, killing at least 51 people
1:48PM ( 13 minutes ago )
New this week: 'In the Heights,' 'Loki' and 'Infinite”
This week’s new entertainment releases include the much-anticipated debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,” a sweaty, vibrant musical about a close-knit Washington Heights neighborhood
1:43PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Parents of 8-year-old girl killed in Atlanta sue city
The parents of an 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed near the site where Rayshard Brooks had been shot several weeks earlier have filed a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and others
1:41PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Harris says leaders need to restore hope in Guatemala
Vice President Kamala Harris is emphasizing the need to restore hope for residents of struggling Central American nations to help address the increase in migration from the region
1:31PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Bruce Springsteen plans Broadway return of his one-man show
The Boss just can’t quit Broadway
1:29PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Mexico president appears to hold key majority in elections
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party and its allies appeared poised to maintain their majority in Mexico’s lower chamber of the congress
1:16PM ( 46 minutes ago )
AP National News
Jeff Bezos riding his own rocket in July, joining 1st crew
Jeff Bezos will ride his own rocket into space next month, joining the first crew to fly in a Blue Origin capsule
11:04AM ( 2 hours ago )
France fines Google for abusing “dominant" ads position
France’s competition watchdog said Monday it is fining Google 220 million euros ($268 million) for abusing its “dominant position” in the online advertising business
10:26AM ( 3 hours ago )
Harris to address migration as she meets Guatemalan leader
Vice President Kamala Harris faces a major test of her diplomatic skills when she meets with Guatemala's president as part of her efforts to address the root causes of migration to the U.S. from the region
9:59AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
UK's Johnson spared vote on foreign aid cut ahead of G7
British lawmakers have failed to force a vote on the government’s cut to foreign aid spending, but may get a chance to debate the contentious decision on Tuesday
1:26PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Stocks slip on Wall Street, pulling back from record highs
Stocks edged lower in afternoon trading Monday after briefly approaching the record highs they reached a month ago
1:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
Daughter of imprisoned ex-president leads Peru's election
The daughter of an imprisoned former president is maintaining a razor thin advantage over her opponent in the race for Peru’s presidency
12:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
New this week: 'In the Heights,' 'Loki' and 'Infinite”
This week’s new entertainment releases include the much-anticipated debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,” a sweaty, vibrant musical about a close-knit Washington Heights neighborhood
1:43PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Parents of 8-year-old girl killed in Atlanta sue city
The parents of an 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed near the site where Rayshard Brooks had been shot several weeks earlier have filed a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and others
1:41PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Peru's presidential runoff election too close to call
A rural teacher-turned-political novice and the daughter of an imprisoned former president have traded the lead in a close race for Peru's presidency
1:40PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Mali junta leader sworn in as president after 2nd coup
Mali's coup leader has been sworn in as president of a transitional government, solidifying his grip on power in the West African nation after carrying out his second coup d’etat in nine months
1:37PM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: WHO head urges G7 boost U.N. vaccination program
The head of the World Health Organization is urging leaders of wealthy, developed G7 countries to help the U.N.-backed COVID-19 vaccination program boost access to doses in the developing world
1:37PM ( 25 minutes ago )