On Sunday, nearly 10 carriages of the Havelian-bound Hazara Express derailed close to Sahara Railway Station, located 275 kilometers away from Karachi, Pakistan.
According to Pakistani media, at least 15 passengers lost their lives, while 50 others sustained injuries. This unfortunate event once again highlights the recurring issue of train accidents in Pakistan, where hundreds of lives have been lost and numerous people have been injured due to past incidents. Unfortunately, effective preventive measures have not been consistently implemented by the authorities.
Following the train derailment, operations of trains traveling to and from the interior districts of Sindh were halted. This disruption is anticipated to result in significant material and life losses. The process of restoring operations and repairing the tracks is estimated to take up to 18 hours, as the removal of the derailed carriages is a complex task. Notably, the wounded passengers have been transported to People’s Medical Hospital in Nawabshah, and there are concerns that additional injuries may be reported due to the large number of people on the ill-fated train.
As of now, the exact cause of the train derailment remains unknown. Sukkur Mahmoodur Rahman, the Railways Divisional Superintendent, confirmed that 10 carriages had gone off track during the incident. Relief efforts are underway, with a relief train en route from Loco Shed Rohri to provide assistance. However, it will take approximately three hours for the relief train to reach the site.
It is worth noting that this same locomotive, which was en route to Havelian from Karachi, narrowly avoided a serious accident in March of this year. Railway officials had placed a rusted train on the tracks, but no injuries were reported. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s track record regarding train accidents is marred by a lack of safety measures. Over the past decade, the country has experienced several deadly train accidents, and the frequency of these incidents appears to be on the rise in recent years.