At least three people were killed and two others injured after the Jinnah Express rammed into a freight train in Hyderabad’s Latifabad, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed said on Thursday.
The driver, assistant driver and a guard lost their lives in the accident. Rasheed said the two injured are in critical condition. “All passengers are safe,” he said.
The deceased were identified as Syed Noman Ali, Yasir Bashir and the driver, Aslam Chandio.
The matter is being investigated and a brief report on it will be released within an hour, the federal minister had assured.
Railway and rescue officials have reached the spot and the railway track has been closed for clearance.
The injured have been shifted to a hospital. The cargo train was reportedly at a halt in Hyderabad when the Jinnah Express rammed into to it. Several coaches of the passenger train derailed and three coaches smashed into nearby houses. The engines of both trains were destroyed in the incident.
The passengers were on their way to Lahore from Karachi.
The freight train was carrying coal. Fire tenders rushed to the spot and sprayed the wreckage to reduce chances of the engine and coal-laden bogies igniting.
Cranes reached Hyderabad to pick up the Jinnah Express engine and two of the freight train’s bogies and to remove the wreckage and debris in the area after the accident.
Railways DSP Mazhar Shah said the tracks will be cleared in three to four hours. He said efforts are being made to open the tracks as soon as possible.
The DSP said an inquiry will be initiated to ascertain how exactly the accident took place.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah expressed sorrow over the train accident. He directed the Hyderabad commissioner to provide the injured with all possible assistance.
Trains going from Karachi to Punjab were stopped at several stations after the accident. A business train was stopped at the Jungshahi Railway Station and the Karakoram, Allama Iqbal Express and Tezgam trains were also stopped near the Ranpattahni railway station in Thatta.
As of Friday morning, both tracks have been opened. It 15 hours for the Railway authorities to open both tracks.
Two days ago, a Karachi-bound passenger train caught fire in Sahiwal. The fire broke out in the dining car of Jinnah Express near Harappa. Officials said the affected coach was separated from the train. No injuries were reported.