A horrific accident took place in southern Pakistan on Sunday when ten cars of a passenger train derailed. This led to the loss of 30 lives as well as 90 other individuals being injured. The Hazara Express train was en route from Karachi to Rawalpindi when the derailment took place near the town of Nawabshah. The derailed cars were scattered across the tracks in the flat, rural landscape, causing chaos and distress. Rescue teams swiftly arrived at the scene to extract passengers, including women, children, and the elderly, from the damaged and overturned cars.
Senior railway officer Mahmoodur Rehman Lakho confirmed that some of the derailed cars had overturned during the crash near the Sarhari railway station. Local television coverage showed the heroic efforts of rescue teams as they worked tirelessly to save lives. The injured passengers were taken to the People’s Hospital in Nawabshah for medical treatment. Expressing his condolences, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif offered prayers for the departed souls and a speedy recovery for the injured during a political gathering in Punjab.
As a result of the derailment, train traffic on the main line was suspended, and alternative travel arrangements were made for the affected passengers. Repair trains were dispatched to the scene to restore the tracks. However, delays and uncertainty plagued the passengers waiting at Karachi station, with departure times constantly changing. Frustrated passengers voiced their grievances about the poor railway system and the suffering they endured due to the ongoing situation.
Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafiq assured the public that an investigation into the cause of the crash was underway. He acknowledged the assistance provided by military and paramilitary troops in the rescue operation, including the use of military helicopters to transport the most critically injured passengers to distant hospitals for better medical care.
Train accidents are unfortunately not uncommon in Pakistan, often attributed to poorly maintained railway tracks and outdated communication and signal systems. The lack of modernization and inadequate safety standards pose significant risks to passengers.