At least 20 people were killed when the Lahore-bound Pakistan Express train emanating from the port city of Karachi smashed into a bus carrying 52 passengers at an unmanned railway crossing in Pakistan's southern Sindh province on Friday (Feb. 28) night. The death toll is expected to rise as many of the injured passengers are in critical condition. Several reports pegged the total number of killed at 30. All the victims were passengers of the bus.
Bus splits into three
According to Dawn News, the driver of the bus tried to cross the tracks in Sukkur district, but could not do so on time.
"It was a very horrible accident, the bus was split into three parts," Pakistan's Dawn News quoted an official as saying. The impact of collision was such that the bus was dragged almost 150-200 feet by the train.
"It is a huge tragedy and all administration and police officials are rushing to the site," said Sukkur Commissioner Shafique Ahmed Mahesar. "It was an unmanned railway crossing as nothing existed there to prevent any traffic," he added.
Bus driver blamed
Sheikh Rasheed, Pakistan's Railways Minister, expressed sorrow over the accident and blamed the bus driver. None of the train passengers were hurt, but the engine's assistant driver sustained injuries, and the engine was badly damaged.
Condition of railways in Pakistan
Rail accidents are a common occurrence in Pakistan. The country hasn't upgraded a large portion of its railway network which it inherited from former colonial Britain.
According to reports, the state of the railways has gone from bad to worse over the years due to widespread corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.
Last year, 23 people were killed and 72 injured after a passenger train collided with a stationary freight train near Pakistan's central town of Rahim Yar Khan.