At least 31 passengers were injured on Sunday after two trains collided near Qila Sattar Shah Station in Sheikhupura district.

The Lahore-bound passenger train, coming from Mianwali, was found travelling on the same track where a freight train was already parked, resulting in a crash.

The train driver attempted to avoid the crash but to no avail, Geo News reported.

According to rescue personnel, 31 passengers were injured out of which five were transferred to the district headquarters hospital.

Railway officials said rescue work was underway at the site and an investigation into the crash had been launched.

Meanwhile, a railways spokesperson said in a statement that train operations in Lahore Division were running smoothly following the crash.

The track was cleared at 7:30am after the accident, the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson further said the Mianwali Express was also sent and all passengers onboard the train were safe.

According to the spokesperson, four railways officials, including train driver Imran Sarwar and his assistant Muhammad Bilal, had been suspended.

An inquiry commission led by a deputy principal officer has been constituted, which will submit its report on the incident within 24 hours, the spokesperson added.

Railways Chairman Mazhar Ali Shah said legal action will be taken against those responsible for the incident. CEO Railways Shahid Aziz said no compromise will be made on the safety of passengers.

It is pertinent to mention that four bogies of a freight train derailed near the same railway station a day earlier.

Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif expressed sorrow over the incident and demanded action against those responsible.

Accidents on the decaying rail system are common and successive governments have been trying for years to secure funds to upgrade the rail network under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In the past decade, the country has witnessed a number of deadly train accidents, and they seem to have increased in frequency over the past few years.

In August this year, at least 56 were killed and a dozen of others injured after 10 bogies of Havelian-bound Hazara Express derailed near the Sahara Railway Station in Sindh’s Nawabshah district, 275 kilometers from Karachi, officials said.

Subsequently, the-then railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique informed the National Assembly that six railways officials had been suspended for negligence leading to the accident.


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2023-09-25

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