LAHORE: At least 63 people were killed and 107 others were injured in the Ghotki Train accident, while 23 others are undergoing treatment in hospital. “We are making all arrangements for their treatment. I have visited them twice am an eyewitness to everything except the accident. I arrived there immediately on an army plane, and remained on the scene until the relief operation was completed the next day.” The Minister supervised the evacuation of the injured and their transfer to the hospitals personally and expressed his views while addressing a press conference on the Ghotki train accident at Railway Headquarters Lahore on June 9, 2021. He said that Rs 1.5 million would be paid to the families of the passengers killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 to Rs 300,000 to the injured. In this regard, he would also meet the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to decide on other relief measures for the deceased and injured. Referring to the railway track, he said that from 2014 to date, no expenditure has been incurred on the main line except maintenance. “This part of the track was maintained for up to eight miles and there was little chance of problems. Speed is reduced when the track is damaged. With reference to this track, I have said that it is a dangerous track. It has been restricted in many places to determine the speed. I have personally inspected the track of Sukkur division,” he said. Regarding the safety of the railway track, the Federal Minister for Railways further said that the requirement regarding ML-I has been fulfilled. “There are two ways to renovate the track; one is maintenance and the other is upgrading. The track needs to be upgraded. The coaches, engines and freight wagons will remain the same but there is no other way out.” Adding on, he said that they have decided to seek permission from the Prime Minister to lay at least a new track from Kotri to Khanpur which would be 140 km long and would benefit three provinces. Referring to the train accident, he said that the first accident of derailment took place at 3:38 AM and that the black boxes of both the trains have been recovered. The inquiry will be completed with two independent officers who will investigate the accident under the supervision of the Federal Government Inspector of Railways. The armed forces, rangers and civil society have taken part in the rescue operation. Replying to a journalist’s question, the Federal Minister for Railways said that Pakistan Railways is Pakistan’s property. The train is a ride of the poor and cannot be stopped. The Federal Minister also prayed of the passengers who died in the Ghotki accident. This is the second such accident with the first one happening in 1990.