Pakistani officials remove the wreckage of a bus after a passenger train hit the bus in Sukkur on February 28, 2020.(Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)
AT LEAST 20 people have killed and 60 others were injured as a speeding train and a passenger bus collided at an unmanned crossing in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, officials said.
The deceased included more than five women and children, reports said.
The accident took place on Friday (28) at the Kandhra railway crossing, near the Rohri railway station in the province, when the ’45 Up Pakistan Express’ train coming from Rawalpindi towards Karachi collided with the passenger bus.
Sukkur Commissioner Shafiq Ahmed Mahesar confirmed that at least 20 people, including children, died in the incident, adding that the casualties could rise as the condition of several of the injured was critical.
The federal government inspector of railways (FGIR) will investigate the incident, a spokesperson said.
“We have shifted at least 60 injured people to hospitals in Rohri and Sukkur,” he said.
“The bus, carrying more than 50 passengers, was going from Sukkur to Punjab,” senior Sukkur police official Jamil Ahmed said.
“It was a horrible accident. So strong was the impact of the train hitting the bus that it was split into three parts,” he said.
The bus was dragged around 150-200 feet by the train, reports said.
Rescue officials said among the victims, some died on the spot while others breathed their last while being shifted to hospitals.
Commissioner Shafique Ahmed said the injured, including women and children, were taken to different hospitals in Rohri and Sukkur.
“It is a huge tragedy and all administration and police officials are rushing to the site. It was an unmanned railway crossing and unfortunately, the driver of the bus took a risk by trying to cross it when the train was coming in full speed,” he said.
Sukkur District Health Officer Dr Munir Mangrio confirmed that 13 bodies were sent to the Rohri hospital, while the remaining bodies were sent to the Sukkur hospital.
According to a Pakistan Railways spokesperson, the bus driver was apparently at fault in the incident.
He said the train’s engine was damaged in the collision, while the assistant driver sustained injuries.