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Wednesday June 12, 2024

Trains crash leaves at least 31 injured in Sheikhupura

Four railways officials including train driver have been suspended, says spokesperson

By Sheikh Sohail Ahad
September 24, 2023

A train collision near Qila Sattar Shah Station in Punjab’s Sheikhupura district on Sunday left at least 31 passengers injured.

According to sources, the Lahore-bound passenger train — coming from Mianwali — was travelling on the same track where a freight train was already present, resulting in a crash.

The train driver attempted to avoid the crash but to no avail.

According to the rescue personnel, 31 passengers onboard the train were injured in the accident. Five injured passengers have been transferred to the district headquarters hospital, they added.

The railway officials said that rescue work is underway at the site of the accident, and an investigation into the crash was launched.

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

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

The spokesperson further said that Mianwali Express was also dispatched 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 have been suspended.

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

The chairman railways 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 for the crash.

Accidents on Pakistan's decaying rail system are common and successive governments have for years been trying 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 others injured after as many as 10 bogies of Havelian-bound Hazara Express derailed near Sahara Railway Station in Sindh's Nawabshah district, 275 kilometres away from Karachi, officials said.

Subsequently, then-railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique informed the National Assembly that six railways officials, whose negligence led to the accident of Hazara Express, had been suspended.