28 die, several injured in Hazara Express accident: Khawaja Saad

Khawaja Saad

LAHORE, Aug 06 (APP): Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Sunday that 28 passengers were reported dead and several others injured in the tragic accident of Hazara Express, occurring near Sarari Railway Station, Nawab Shah district in Sindh.

He, along with senior management of Pakistan Railways, confirmed it to the media here at the Railways Headquarters. The minister said that soon after the accident, an emergency was declared in hospitals of Sukkur and Nawab Shah districts, while help/information desks were set up in Lahore and Faisalabad for convenience of relatives of the victims.

He also expressed his profound grief over the loss of human lives and prayed for early recovery of the injured persons. Expressing his deep sorrow over the tragic incident, he said that despite meagre resources, the Pakistan Railways employees, right from its secretary to gangman, were trying to make the train journey safe.

Federal Minister Kh Saad Rafique promised that a thorough and impartial inquiry into the accident would be conducted to ascertain why the incident happened, though the track was fit and there was no engineering issue. As per statement of the train driver, he was running the locomotive at a speed between 45 and 50 kilometres per hour.

“The railways inquiry team has already set for the Sarari Railway Station and at the moment, we cannot say anything about the cause of the accident, whether it was a technical fault or a saboteur act,” he said.

The minister said that respective district administration, Rescue-1122, personnel of Pak Army, Rangers and Railways staff had also reached the spot and started relief and rescue operation, asserting that the first relief train had also reached the Sarari Railway Station and efforts were being made to clear both tracks at the earliest.

Kh Saad Rafique said that he was in constant contact with Sindh chief minister, provincial administration and the DG Rangers, adding that secretary and CO Railways were monitoring the post accident operation.

The accident also resulted in suspension of up and down rail traffic on Main Line-I, and Green Line was stopped at Nawab Shah Railway Station. He said that the railways management also had to change the timing schedule of various trains on that route.

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