At least 17 people have been killed and dozens more injured after two trains carrying hundreds of passengers collided in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi early Thursday, officials said.
Witnesses described watching in horror as one train sped into the city’s Quaidabad Railway Station and rammed into the second, which was parked there, with the roar of the crash swiftly followed by the screams of people trapped inside.
Rescuers armed with metal-cutting equipment and heavy cranes were fighting to reach passengers still trapped in the twisted wreckage. They were joined by the military and police, an AFP journalist at the site of the crash said.
The engine of one train appeared destroyed, he said, but the exact extent of the damage was unclear.
A senior administration official in Karachi said there could have been up to 1,000 passengers in total on board the trains when the accident occurred.
“At the moment, we don’t know the exact number of casualties but there could be up to 1,000 passengers in both trains,” Nasir Nazeer, district coordination officer in Karachi told AFP.
“We have sent heavy machinery and cutting equipment to remove the overturned cars from the track and rescue the trapped passengers inside the coaches,” he said.
Seemi Jamali, spokeswoman at Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital, told AFP at least 17 people had died. Earlier she said the hospital had received some 50 wounded.
accident occurred when the incoming “Zakria Express” from the central city of Multan rammed into the “Fareed Express”, from Lahore, as it waited at Quaidabad Station, also known as Jumma Goth, in the Landi neighborhood of Karachi.