MULTAN: At least six passengers were killed and more than 100 others were hurt Thursday when a passenger train collided with a freight train near Multan, rescuers and a railway officials said.
The pre-dawn accident happened near the town of Sher Khan in Punjab province 15 minutes after the freight train stopped after hitting a man on the track, railway official Saima Bashir said.
Bashir said the freight train had stopped so its driver could remove the body of the man who had been crushed to death while crossing the railway track, The freight train was then hit from behind by the passenger train.
“The driver of the passenger train did not see the red signal which went up after the man was crushed to death by the freight train,” she said.
Bashir said authorities have ordered a probe to determine the exact cause of accident, but initial investigations suggest the driver of passenger train was at fault for the crash.
Rescue official Kalim Ullah said six bodies and more than 100 injured passengers were taken to hospitals, and that some of the injured passengers were listed in a critical condition.
TV footage showed derailed cars and wreckage of the train as ambulances rushed away.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in a statement expressed sympathies for the families of the dead and injured.
Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where tracks and bridges are often poorly maintained.
Last November, 19 people were killed in Baluchistan 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 military train fell into a canal after a bridge partially collapsed.