KARACHI: At least 11 people have been killed and dozens more injured after two trains carrying hundreds of passengers collided in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi early Thursday, officials said.
TV footage showed rescuers armed with metal-cutting equipment and heavy cranes trying to reach passengers still trapped in the twisted wreckage, as dozens of spectators stood by.
The accident occurred when the incoming “Zakria Express” from the central city of Multan rammed into the “Farid Express”, from Lahore, as it waited at the city’s Jumma Goth railway station.
A senior administration official in Karachi said there could be up to 1,000 passengers on board the trains when the accident occurred.
“At the moment, we don’t know the exact number of casualties but there could be up to 1,000 passengers in both trains,” Nasir Nazeer, District Coordination Officer (DCO) in Karachi told AFP.
“We have sent heavy machinery and cutting equipment to remove the overturned cars from the track and rescue the trapped passengers inside the coaches,” he said.
“So far we can confirm 11 people dead from the train accident, and we have received 50 injured,” Seemi Jamali, spokeswoman at Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital told AFP.
Train accidents are common in Pakistan, which inherited thousands of miles (kilometres) of track and trains from former colonial power, Britain.
The railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.
In September four people were killed and more than 100 injured when two trains collided near the central city of Multan.