Disasters & Accidents

At least 19 dead as bus collides with train in Pakistan

Islamabad, Jul 3 (efe-epa)- At least 19 people died and another 15 were injured on Friday when a bus carrying pilgrims of the Sikh minority was hit by a train in the eastern province of Punjab in Pakistan.

The incident occurred around 1.30pm at a level crossing between the stations of Bhalike and Sheikhupura, according to a statement by the Ministry of Railways.

“In the accident, 19 people were killed and 15 were injured,” Jam Sajjad, a spokesperson from the rescue team, told EFE.

He added that the pilgrims were returning from Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak.

The injured have been taken to a hospital in Sheikhupura.

Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid has ordered for measures to be taken against those responsible for the accident.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, on his part, expressed grief over the death of the pilgrims and called for medical aid to be offered to these injured.

Train accidents are not uncommon in Pakistan, whose rail network dates back to the time when it was a colony of the British Empire, and from which it gained independence in 1947.

In October 2019, a total 73 people were killed in an explosion inside a train the southern part of the country, when a gas cylinder exploded while several passengers were preparing breakfast.

In the same year in July, around 20 people were killed and 80 were injured when a passenger train and a goods train collided in Punjab province.

Pakistan also has one of the highest traffic accident rates in the world owing to poor infrastructure and ill-maintained and overcrowded vehicles.

In September last year, at least 26 people died and another 18 were injured in a bus accident at a mountain pass in the northern part of the country.

In the same year in January, at least 27 people were killed and another 13 injured when a bus caught fire after crashing into a truck in southern Pakistan.

In June 2017, at least 180 people were killed when a tanker, carrying gasoline, overturned in the eastern part of the country.

In the month of January in 2015, 62 people were burned to death when a bus collided with another gasoline tanker in southern Pakistan. EFE-EPA

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