Thursday, 2 July 2015

12 dead as train carrying military troops falls into canal near Gujranwala

At least 12 people, including a senior army officer, were killed on Thursday when a train carrying soldiers and military hardware fell into a canal in Gujranwala following the partial collapse of a bridge, officials said.

The accident occurred near the eastern town of Wazirabad in Punjab as it headed to the garrison town of Kharian.

A statement issued by the military said four carriages derailed as the train crossed Chanawan Bridge.

DG ISPR Asim Bajwa tweeted that eight bodies, including “Lieutenant Colonel Amir”, the commander of a unit, had so far been recovered while a further four people were missing.

“Almost 200 people were travelling on the train,” said SSP Waqas Nazir, adding that the canal has been closed to carryout the rescue operation.

“There were around 300 passengers on board,” Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique told Reuters.

“It is too early to say about the reason for the mishap. Rescue work is under way.”

More than 50 people were rescued, a military official said.

Television images of the scene showed several carriages partly submerged in the canal.

Rafiq said the cause of the crash was unknown. But a senior military official said the army suspected sabotage.

“We suspect that this was an act of sabotage… The planks on the rail were tampered with,” the official said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The collapse also raises concerns about the safety of infrastructure. Several TV channels reported that the bridge had been marked as “extremely dangerous”.

Later on, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed concerns for those injured in the accident.

He directed the authorities concerned to mobilise all resources to rescue the injured and restore the track.

Further, the premier directed medical aid to be given to the injured and assure safe return to their destinations.

Thursday 2 July 2015


Post a Comment