At least 30 people were killed and nearly 80 others injured on Sunday after several bogies of the Hazara Express train derailed near the Sarhari Railway Station in Nawabshah district, Sindh province, Pakistan. The horrific accident resulted in substantial damage to the train compartments and caused widespread concern for the passengers onboard.
Deputy Superintendent of Pakistan Railways, Mahmood Rehman, confirmed the tragic news, stating, "At least 30 bodies were recovered from the damaged bogies while around 80 injured people were being taken to hospitals."
Television channels broadcasted images of the crash site, showing train compartments severely damaged near the station, located approximately 275 kilometers from Karachi. Rescue workers, police, and civilians rallied together in a collaborative effort to pull people from the derailed compartments.
"Right now, the focus is on rescue work and recovering people from the derailed compartments," emphasized Rehman, highlighting the priority to save lives in the immediate aftermath of the accident, as reported by PTI.
State-run Radio Pakistan reported that the Pakistan Army and Rangers swiftly commenced relief and rescue activities at the accident site, acting upon the special directives of Army Chief General Asim Munir. Additional troops were summoned to provide assistance, and Army Aviation helicopters arrived at the scene to rescue the injured.
"The rescue operation of Pakistan Army will continue till the transfer of the last injured to the hospital and the rehabilitation of the people trapped at the accident site," stated Radio Pakistan, underlining the unwavering commitment to save lives and provide aid to those in need.
Speaking to the media in Lahore, Federal Minister for Railways and Aviation, Khawaja Saad Rafique, shared initial findings, saying, "The train, carrying over 1,000 passengers, was traveling at a reasonable speed. It was either a mechanical fault or it was developed."
As the magnitude of the derailment became apparent, Pakistan Railways Sukkur Divisional Commercial Officer, Mohsin Siyal, confirmed, "Some people are reporting that five bogies derailed, some are saying eight have derailed and some are saying 10 have derailed."
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed sorrow over the lives lost and promptly directed the Sindh government to provide immediate medical treatment to the injured passengers. He also urged Pakistan Peoples' Party workers to join relief and rescue efforts to help those affected by the tragedy.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah conveyed his condolences and issued a statement, directing the Nawabshah deputy commissioner to provide immediate medical assistance to the injured passengers.