PUNJAB: Two men were injured as the Lahore-bound Shalimar Express collided with a freight train near Khanpur on Saturday.
According to sources, the accident was the result of a technical fault with the track switch. Resultantly, train service was suspended on both up and down tracks. The driver and assistant driver of Shalimar Express injured in the incident, sources added.
Soon after receiving information, rescue and Railway technical staff reached the site – Jetha Battha Railway Station – for recovery efforts. Sources further said that the Shalimar Express’ engine and three carriages of the freight train were derailed after the collision.
According to a spokesperson for Pakistan Railways, a Shalimar Express train, traveling from Karachi to Lahore collided with Down 502 cargo train at 4:10 pm near the Jheeta Bhatta railway station.
The spokesperson added that the train’s driver and assistant driver were “mildly injured” in the collision while all the passengers remained safe.
He added, however, that the two coaches of the Crago train were damaged while the front trolley of Shalimar Express’s front-engine was derailed. The end-down track has been “completely blocked” as a result of the collision, the spokesperson said.
The divisional superintendent Multan has left for the location of the accident on the directions of the Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Railways Dost Ali Leghari. All divisional officers and rescue officials have also left for the scene of the accident and rescue operations will be completed with three to four hours, the spokesperson added.
The latest accident came a day after the deadly crash between a coaster carrying Sikh pilgrims and a train in Sheikhupura which claimed 22 lives.
According to details, the Shah Hussain Express was going from Karachi to Lahore when it struck a van at an unmanned railway crossing between Farooqabad and Behali railway station.
A passenger van of Sikh pilgrims returning from Nankana Sahib was rammed by the train. District Police Officer (DPO) Sheikhupura had confirmed that at least fifteen Sikhs were killed in the accident.
Rescue officials of Railways and Rescue 1122 arrived on the scene of the accident. Railways authorities had cleared the track and train operation has resumed.
According to a statement by Railways ministry, the divisional engineer was suspended following the accident. Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had ordered authorities to take immediate action against those responsible for the accident.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar expressed sorrow at the loss of lives in the train accident and conveyed condolences to the families of the deceased.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had also expressed grief and sorrow at the loss of precious lives and instructed to provide the best medical facilities to the injured. Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari termed the incident horrific.