Islamabad, Aug 6 (EFE).- Dozens of people were killed or injured after a train derailed in southern Pakistan, officials told Efe on Sunday.
At least 23 deaths and over 80 injured have been confirmed as a result of the accident in Sindh province, police said, as rescue workers struggle to free survivors from the wreckage.
“The death toll has reached 23 and more than 80 are injured in the accident. The rescue operation is continuing and more injured are being pulled out,” police officer Ashraf Zardari told Efe from the scene.
Rescue teams are currently in the area of the incident, where they are working to lift the carriages that derailed, Zardari said.
But high temperatures in the region, as well as the need to use cranes to lift the carriages and special tools to cut through metal to rescue passengers, are delaying operations, he added.
The accident took place near Nawabshah as the train was heading from the southern city of Karachi to Sargodha in the eastern province of Punjab, Muhammed Anjum, provincial spokesman for the state-owned Pakistan Railways, told EFE.
Anjum said two trains were headed to the scene of the accident with medical personnel to provide relief to the injured, and operators to help in rescue work as well as to clear the track, which has been completely blocked.
Train accidents are frequent in Pakistan, which has an old railway network dating back to the British Empire. The country became independent in 1947.
Adding to its antiquated infrastructure is the threat of attacks by insurgent groups, such as the one that took place in February when a separatist group detonated an explosion on a moving train that left at least one woman dead and seven other people injured.
In 2021, a collision between two trains in southern Pakistan resulted in 62 deaths in addition to around 30 injured.
In October 2019, 73 people were killed by the explosion of a gas cylinder that passengers were using to prepare breakfast on a train in the south of the country. EFE