News World Pakistan train derails and kills 16

Pakistan train derails and kills 16

Pakistan train derails
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At least 16 people have been killed and more than 100 injured after a train derailed in Pakistan’s south-west, administration and railway officials say.

The accident occurred near Quetta city in Baluchistan province after the train’s brakes failed as it sped down the side of a mountain, officials said.

“Four carriages of a Rawalpindi-bound train which left Quetta railway station were derailed near Abegum area of Bolan district, some 75 kilometres from Quetta city,” said Baluchistan home secretary, Akbar Hussain Durrani.

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“The incident happened because the brakes of the train failed.”

The military said in a statement that 47 injured passengers were airlifted to hospital in two helicopters, with a spokesman saying earlier that at least 26 of those had been seriously injured.

According to Mr Durrani, five were in critical condition.

Other wounded passengers were transferred by ambulance, the statement said.

Faiz Bugti, a senior railways department official, and head of local community police Tariq Zehri also confirmed the accident and casualties.

The army has joined a rescue and relief operation and will use heavy machinery to free victims, while a quick response force from the paramilitary Frontier Corps has also been deployed, authorities said.

TV footage showed rescuers trying to pull the injured from the derailed cars.

Mr Durrani, meanwhile, praised residents of a nearby village who helped with the rescue efforts.

Railway officials said the train was carrying around 300 passengers.

Among the dead so far confirmed are 12 passengers, the train driver and his assistant, and two members of the railway police, Mr Durrani said.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, which inherited thousands of miles of track and trains from former colonial power, Britain.

The railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.

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