Pakistani authorities have not ruled out potential “sabotage”

The tragic accident occurred near the town of Nawabshah, Sindh province on Sunday, when several carriages of the Hazara Express, which was carrying around 1,000 passengers, derailed and multiple cars overturned trapping many riders. Authorities are probing the cause, hinting at a possibility of intentional “sabotage.”

Pakistani Army and Rangers were mobilized to assist with the rescue operation that was completed by the evening. Dozens of victims, including women and children, were saved from the wreckage and brought to safety, senior policy officer Abid Baloch confirmed speaking at the scene of the incident.

The death toll has grown to at least 30 people, with over 90 others injured, by Sunday night.

“This is quite a big accident,” Railway Minister Khawaja Rafique told reporters. “There can be two reasons: first that it was a mechanical fault, or the fault was created – it might be a sabotage. We will investigate it.”

Train accidents and derailments are a frequent occurrence on the country’s aging railway system that is around 7,500 kilometers long and carries over 80 million passengers yearly. In June 2021 at least 65 people were killed when two trains collided near the city of Daharki and at least 75 passengers were burned to death in fire aboard the Tezgam express in October 2019. 

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