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Railways to pay Rs1.5m compensation for victims of Ghotki train accident  

LAHORE: Pakistan Railway has announced compensation for those who died or sustained injuries during the train accident in Ghotki on Monday.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Railways announced that the Railways will pay Rs1.5 million to each victim of the train accident. He said the injured passengers will get an amount ranging between Rs50,000 to Rs300,000 based on the wounds they had suffered, adding that the process to collect details of the injured and dead have been initiated on an immediate basis.

It is worth mentioning here 40 passengers were killed and several others were injured when two express trains collided near Ghotki on Monday morning. Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab has confirmed that almost 40 passengers were killed. The Millat Express – headed from Karachi to Sargodha – derailed and the Sir Syed Express train hit it soon afterward between Raiti and Daharki railway stations in district Ghotki.

Around 14 boogies of both trains have been damaged while four have been completely destroyed. DC Ghotki Usman Abdullah warned that several people are still trapped in both trains and heavy machinery and cutters are required for the operation while railway traffic has been suspended.

He said officials were facing difficulty in rescuing citizens as the bogies had overturned, expressing fears that the death toll could increase. He said that a relief train had departed from Rohri and the local administration and rescue teams were present on the site of the accident.

An emergency has been declared at hospitals in Ghotki, Dharki, Ubaro and Mirpur Mathelo, and doctors and paramedical staff had been called on duty. Police and rescue teams reached the spot for the rescue and relief operation. Pakistan Rangers Sindh personnel have also reached the site of the incident to assist the civil administration in the rescue operation.

Ghotki SSP Umar Tufail said that those who suffered minor injuries in the incident had been given first aid and had been discharged. A Railways spokesperson said the remaining passengers are being sent to Sadiqabad.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the incident and expressed grief over the lives lost. Speaking to the Sukkur Commissioner over the phone, he directed him to mobilize the district administration. “Machinery should be arranged to rescue passengers that are still stuck,” he said.

The Chief Minister also directed the official to arrange temporary accommodation and food for the passengers. “An information system should be set up so that citizens can get accurate information,” he added. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan has also expressed shock over the horrific train accident at Ghotki He said the railway minister has been asked to reach the site and ensure medical assistance to the injured and support for families of the dead. He also ordered a comprehensive investigation into railway safety faultlines.