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July 4, 2020

20 killed as van, train collide in Sheikhupura

Top Story

 
July 4, 2020

Ag APP

SHEIKHUPURA: At least 20 people of the Sikh community were killed while ten others sustained critical injuries when a train collided into a passenger van at an unmanned level crossing near Farooqabad, some 14 kilometres away from Sheikhupura on Friday.

According to police officials, people from Pakistani Sikh community were returning to Peshawar after attending a ceremony at Nankana Sahib when the Lahore-bound Shah Hussain Express hit their Toyota van at an unmanned level crossing at Jatri road. The dead and injured were taken to DHQ hospital in Sheikhupura. According to BBC, all the deceased are said to be from one family.

Rescue officials said the driver of the coaster had tried to take the path from an unsecured railway crossing instead of the road when the vehicle collided with the Lahore-bound train near the Farooqabad Railway Station, Geo News reported. A Pakistan Railways spokesperson said the deadly collision took place at a crossing between Bahalike and Farooqabad stations at 1.30pm.

A railways divisional engineer has been suspended, the spokesperson said, adding that railways minister Sheikh Rashid has ordered a strict action against those responsible. Rashid, as well as Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar have sought ordered reports into the incident. The track was been operational till the filing of this report.

Evacuee Trust Property Board’s Deputy Secretary Shrines, Imran Gondal, said that all the Sikh travellers were Pakistani nationals and residents of Peshawar. Gondal said that the bodies of the accident victims were being shifted to Mayo Hospital Lahore, while the wounded are hospitalised in Sheikhupura and Lahore.

Following the deadly accident, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed an immediate review of the standard operating procedures regarding operational safety mechanisms of the Pakistan Railways.

Following the accident, President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed their deep sorrow and grief over the loss of lives. In separate messages, they conveyed their heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the tragic incident. They also directed for the provision of the best medical treatment to the injured.