Pakistan Train Crash Kills at Least 40

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—At least 40 people were killed in an early morning train crash in southern Pakistan, the latest in a series of deadly railway accidents in recent years in the country.

Two trains collided around 3:45 a.m. local time on Monday, near the town of Sukkur in the southern province of Sindh. Some injured passengers remained trapped in the wreckage hours after the crash.

Local residents and rescue officials used hand tools and a tractor to try to free the injured and dead, before heavy lifting and cutting equipment arrived some five hours after the crash, along with army helicopters to take the injured to hospitals, officials said.

Usman Abdullah, a senior local administration official, said that 40 people had been killed so far and around 100 were injured.

Train carriages were mangled and overturned, local television video showed. One local channel reported that a trapped passenger called her home to tell her family where she was trapped in the wreckage, and they alerted rescuers.

Kazim Ali Shah, an official with Edhi, a charitable rescue service, said that 15-20 people were stuck inside the carriages.

Sheikh

Rashid Ahmed,

the interior minister, who previously served as the railways minister, said that the section of the track where the accident happened was known to be in bad shape. He said a planned upgrade to the tracks would address the problem.

China is undertaking a multibillion-dollar infrastructure-building program in close ally Pakistan. The biggest project in that initiative is a $6 billion to $7 billion modernization of Pakistan’s railway network, where multiple crashes have happened in recent years. The upgrade hasn’t begun. Pakistan says it is close to finalizing the terms of the project, after several years of negotiations with China over how to fund it.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had ordered an investigation into the crash.

Write to Saeed Shah at [email protected]

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