22 lose lives as passenger trains collide in Karachi

* Dozens injured as Zakaria Express coming from Lahore crashes into Fareed Express that was parked at Juma Goth Railway Station

22 lose lives as passenger  trains collide in Karachi

KARACHI: As many as 22 passengers lost their lives and 65 others injured when two passenger trains collided near Karachi’s Landhi Railway Station on Thursday, rescue sources said.

The accident occurred near Gaddafi Town Landhi at 7:18am when Zakaria Express coming from Lahore crashed into Fareed Express, which was parked at Juma Goth Railway station. Two bogies of Fareed Express and one bogie of Zakaria Express were destroyed.

Fareed Express was coming to Karachi from Lahore, while Zakaria Express had set off from Multan.

Ambulances rushed to the site on the news of the incident. Rescue services have pulled out all trapped passengers after cutting through the mangled wreckage. The injured were shifted to nearby hospitals. Authorities at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) have informed that 19 bodies were brought to the JMPC mortuary.

Emergency has been declared at Jinnah Hospital, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and Civil Hospital.

“Around 65 injured were also brought to JPMC. Most of the injured had received head injuries and lots of them are in critical conditions,” Dr Seemi Jamali, head of Emergency Department at Jinnah Hospital told Daily Times.

Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Labour Senator Saeed Ghani said the railway staff had given the green signal to the approaching train by mistake.

Divisional Superintendent (DS) Railway Nasir Nazeer said that there were around 1,000 to 1,100 passengers on both trains.

The train operation, railway traffic from the port city to upcountry came to a complete halt after the accident.

This was not the first accident of its kind. In Pakistan train accidents are very common. On September 15, at least six people lost their lives and over 150 injured after Karachi-bound Awami Express collided with a freight train near Multan.

In November, 2015, around 19 people lost their lives and over 100 injured in Baluchistan, when the locomotive and several bogies of Jaffar Express train derailed near Bolan area of Balochistan.

Last July, at least 12 people lost thhier lives when a special military train carrying Pakistan military troops and their families to Kharian fell into a canal in Gujranwala after a bridge partially collapsed.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered an inquiry into the accident. He expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls.