Death toll from train derailment in Pakistan rises to 30 with 60 others injured, officials say

Death toll from train derailment in Pakistan rises to 30 with 60 others injured, officials say
Train crashes often happen on poorly maintained rail tracks, which still use colonial era communications and signal systems.
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The train accident in Pakistan has killed at least 30 people and the number may rise as rescue work continues [Getty]

A train derailed in southern Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least 30 people and injuring at least 60 others, officials said. Rescue operations were underway.

Ten cars of a Rawalpindi-bound train derailed and some overturned, near the Pakistani town of Nawabshah, trapping many passengers, said senior railway officer Mahmoodur Rehman Lakho.

Local television showed rescue teams extracting women, children and elderly passengers from damaged and overturned cars. Some of the injured were lying on the ground crying for help while locals gave out water and food. AP photos showed derailed train cars sprawled across or near the tracks.

Senior police officer Abid Baloch said from the scene of the accident that 30 bodies had been recovered while more than 60 people were injured, some critically. He added that the death toll may rise as rescue operations continue.

Baloch said women and children were among the dead and injured.

Lakho, who is in charge of railways in the accident area, said rescue crews took injured passengers to the nearby People's Hospital in Nawabshah. He said the ill-fated Hazara Express was on its way from Karachi to Rawalpindi when 10 cars went off the tracks near the Sarhari railway station off Nawabshah.

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Mohsin Sayal, another senior railway officer, said train traffic was suspended on the main railway line as repair trains were dispatched to the scene. Sayal said alternative travel arrangements and medical care would be made available for the train's passengers.

Minister for Railways, Khaja Saad Rafiq, said the crash could be due to a mechanical fault or the result of sabotage. He said an investigation was underway.

Train crashes often happen on poorly maintained railways tracks in Pakistan, where colonial-era communications and signal systems haven't been modernized and safety standards are poor.