A Karachi-bound express train has collided with a stationary freight train in Pakistan’s central Punjab region, killing at least six people and injuring more than 150, according to Geo TV.
The accident occurred about 25km from the city of Multan at about 2:30am local time on Thursday when the Awam Express passenger train crashed into a goods train which had stopped after running over a man crossing the railway track.
TV footage showed rescue officials working around crumpled and overturned carriages in the darkness.
“At least four people have been killed and scores others wounded,” said Nadir Chattha, local district administration official.
He said several trapped passengers had to be pulled from the wreckage.
A three-day public holiday for the festival of Eid al-Adha ended on Wednesday, with many returning from their family homes to the cities where they work.
There was a delay in the emergency response to the accident due to Eid holidays in the mainly Muslim nation of 190 million people, officials said.
Saima Bashir, a railway official, blamed the accident on the passenger train driver, saying he failed to heed a red signal that went up after the goods train had stopped.
Rail accidents are common in Pakistan, which inherited its network from Britain [Reuters]
Train accidents are common in Pakistan, which inherited thousands of miles of track and trains from former colonial power, Britain.
The railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.
Last November, 19 people were killed in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province after a train’s brakes failed and it sped down the side of a mountain.
In July 2015, at least 17 people were killed when a special military train fell into a canal after a bridge partially collapsed.
About 130 people were killed in July 2005 when a train collided with another at a station in Sindh province, and a third train hit the wreckage.[Source: Al-Jazeera/Agencies]