A train in Pakistan smashed into the derailed carriages of another train on Monday, killing at least 36 people, government officials said. It was the latest accident highlighting the perilous state of a more-than-165 year old railway system.
The death toll was likely to rise as rescuers struggled to reach people trapped in several mangled compartments strewn across the tracks in the southern province of Sindh.
A Pakistan Railways spokesman said at least 33 bodies had been taken to hospitals. More than 100 people were injured, he told Reuters.
Police officer Umar Tufail said the toll rose to 36, and that his men could see four more bodies stuck in the wreckage. “We have saved three more people; they are injured,” he added.
An injured passenger, who had been travelling on the train that derailed, recounted how one calamity led to another. “We felt as if we had been thrown away,” the man, who had a bandaged head, told a television reporter from hospital, speaking of the initial derailing of his train.
“The second train then hit our train that caused more damage,” he said. The Pakistan Railways spokesman said several carriages of the first train fell across the adjacent track after the derailment in the Ghotki district.
The second train, coming from the other direction, then smashed into them, he added.
“The driver tried to apply emergency brakes but the locomotive hit the infringing coaches,” Pakistan Railways said in an initial report.
ISLAMABAD REUTERS June 7