ISLAMABAD – At least 20 people were killed and 80 injured on Thursday when a passenger train and a goods train collided in Punjab province, southern Pakistan.
The accident occurred around 4 am local time at Walhar station when a passenger train entered a service line and collided with a freight train, railway ministry spokesperson Ali Nawaz Malik told EFE.
The spokesperson attributed the causes of the accident to “human negligence” and “issues in signaling.”
Akbar Ali, police spokesman of the Rahim Yar Khan district, where the accident took place, said some 20 people had died and 80 were injured.
The army is taking part in the ongoing rescue operations.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his grief over the accident and called for measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
“Saddened to learn of train accident in Sadiqabad. My condolences to the victims families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. Have asked Railways Minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect of railway infrastructure & ensure safety standards,” Khan said on Twitter.
Train accidents are not uncommon in Pakistan. In November 2015, 20 people died and around 100 were injured in the southwestern province of Balochistan when a train derailed.
Railways have also occasionally been subjected to insurgent attacks. In March, at least three people were killed and seven wounded in a bomb attack on a passenger train that caused several wagons to derail, also in Balochistan.