Railway officials say at least 63 people were killed in Monday’s crash in a remote part of southern Sindh province.
Pakistani railway officials say at least 63 people were killed in Monday’s collision in a remote part of southern Sindh province.
Officials released two victim lists on Tuesday that included 12 that are yet to be identified, the AFP news agency reported, and some said the toll could rise further.
The dead range from a one-month-old baby to an 81-year-old woman.
“We fear more people may die,” Usman Abdullah, deputy commissioner of Ghotki district, said on Tuesday.
More than 100 people were injured in the collision, which took place on Monday morning near the town of Dharki in Ghotki, about 440 kilometers north of Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi.
“Some of the injured people are in critical condition,” Abdullah said.
On Monday morning, the Millat Express train derailed and the Sir Syed Express train attacked it minutes later, Abdullah said. The two trains carried more than 1,000 passengers.
The reason for the initial derailment is still unclear.
“This is the most colossal accident I have seen in about ten years of service,” railway engineer Jahan Zeb told AFP, his eyes swollen from lack of sleep.
Heavy machinery arrived to cut some cars, and more than 15 hours after the crash, lifeguards carefully removed the wreckage while searching for anyone who could still be trapped, though survivors were fading.
The Pakistani military deployed troops, engineers and helicopters to help them.
The operation to find survivors and bodies at the wreck had been completed and the track will be reopened today, said Syed Ijazul Hassan, a spokesman for the state-owned railway operator.
Fatal train accidents are common in Pakistan, where the tracks established during the British colonial rule decades ago have rarely been updated.
It is not known what caused the Millat Express to jump on the runway, but Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, a former railway minister, described this section of the line as “a mess” while the current minister Azam Swati called it “really dangerous.”
The segment of the railway tracks where the accident took place was old and needed to be replaced, Habibur Rehman Gilani, president of Pakistan Railways, told Pakistan Geo News TV. He did not elaborate.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday expressed deep grief over the tragedy and ordered an investigation into “railway safety failure lines”.
In 1990, a full passenger jumped on a freight train standing in southern Pakistan and killed 210 people in the worst railway disaster in the country’s history.