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3 dead, several injured as Jinnah Express hits freight train near Hyderabad

Three people were killed and several others injured when a passenger train, the Jinnah Express, hit a freight car near Hyderabad on Thursday.

One of the deceased was identified by a colleague as the driver of the Jinnah Express, Aslam Chandio. The other two were identified as Syed Noman Ali and Yasir Bashir.

The injured were shifted to Liaquat University Hospital’s city branch for treatment.

Earlier, at 7pm, locomotive traffic remained suspended on the up- and down-country tracks as the tracks had not been completely cleared of the wreckage and debris.

Passengers remained stranded at the Hyderabad and Kotri railway stations due to the delay.

Later that evening, in a video statement to address the incident, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that the tracks had been cleared for traffic and the passengers had been sent on their way.

How it happened

The Lahore-bound Jinnah Express, which had departed from Karachi, rammed into a Yusufwala-bound stationary goods train carrying coal.

A heavy contingent of Rangers and police rushed to the spot after the accident as security officials struggled to keep bystanders, who had gathered at the track, away from the wreckage.

Fire fighters rushed to the spot and used water tenders on the wreckage to reduce chances of the engine and coal-laden bogies igniting.

The Jinnah Express engine was derailed, although the bogies remained on the tracks. The section of track occupied by the train was considerably damaged.

Three bogies of the goods train capsized due to the impact of the collision. The goods train was detached from the affected bogies and taken to a railway station.

Railway authorities made arrangements for a crane to remove the remaining debris and restore the up-country track.

Meanwhile, labourers began separating the damaged parts of the Jinnah Express engine from the goods train.

Edhi volunteers wade through large crowds to carry the bodies over to the ambulance. — Photo by Mohammad Hussain Khan

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah expressed sorrow over the accident, a statement by his spokesperson said.

The chief minister directed the Hyderabad commissioner to provide the injured with all possible assistance and instructed the hospital to make the necessary arrangements in this regard.

‘Apologise to inconvenienced passengers’

Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed issued a video statement following the incident.

“Today around 5:30pm Jinnah [Express] hit a stationary goods train from behind near Hyderabad due to which three people were killed: a driver and two assistant drivers, named Chandio, Noman and Yasir,” he said as he began his message

“I have already issued instructions for the matter to be investigated and for the probe to be concluded within 24 hours. On Saturday at 1pm, I will also give my decision on this,” said the railways minister.

Rasheed said that the train lines had been opened and that the down track was clear for traffic.

“The train has departed for its destination carrying passengers who all remained unhurt. I apologise to all the passengers of Pakistan Railways who were inconvenienced,” he concluded.

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