KARACHI: More than 50 people were dead and upto 100 injured as the Lahore-bound Karachi Express derailed near Sukkar early Wednesday morning. Some 14 bogies of the train have derailed near the town of Naushero Feroz trapping a number of passengers mostly coming back to their homes for Eidul Azha. Rangers, policemen and local people pulled out the dead and the injured from the wreckage of the train. Local people came in hundreds to help, carrying the injured away in n rickshaws, motor-scooters and donkey carts.
There were more than one thousand passengers on board the train. According to Railways officials, Karachi Express had one engine, two power vans and 14 bogies comprising seven economy class coaches, four lower ACs, a dining car, a AC Sleeper and a saloon.
The train driver said he felt a tremendously powerful tug and later he saw the engine cut off from train. The passenger bogies after getting off the rail track ploughed their way into the fields. The caretaker premier Mohammedmian Soomro expressed deep sorrow and shock over the incident and ordered inquiry into the accident. “It was deep in the night and there was a huge crash,” passenger Mohammad Afzal said by telephone.
Officials said doctors and aid workers were struggling to cope with the large numbers of casualties. Police said rescuers were fighting darkness and bitter cold, and did not have sophisticated tools to cut open the carriages or sufficient torches to help them work.
A senior Pakistan Railways official, Asad Saeed, said: “It appears to be an accident but we have ordered an investigation to ascertain the cause.” He said 15 of the train’s 17 coaches had gone off the rails.-SANA