At least 33 people have been killed and more than 120 injured after a train collision near the southern Pakistani town of Dharki, officials say, with rescue work still under way to find survivors trapped in the debris.
The collision took place early on Monday morning near the town of Dharki, about 440km (273 miles) north of Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi, officials say.
Rescue work is ongoing at the site and is in its “final stages”, he said.
“The number of dead bodies has increased to 33, while the number of injured is near 120,” senior health official Dr Manzoor Jakhrani told Al Jazeera by telephone from one of the main government hospitals were the injured were being treated.
Rescue work is ongoing at the site and is in its “final stages”, he said.Television footage from the site of the crash showed the mangled wreckage of the two trains strewn across the track, with rescuers using cranes and other equipment to try and reach those trapped inside.
“Rescuers are still trying to get into at least two crashed bogeys, they are still removing the debris,” he said. “Equipment and paramilitary forces are there to remove the debris.”
“Engineer resources moved to carry out necessary relief and rescue work,” said a military statement. “Army special Engineer Team [for] Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) being heli-lifted from Rawalpindi to incident site to speed up relief and rescue efforts.”
Pakistan’s aging railway system has seen numerous accidents and crashes in recent years, with successive governments investing little in maintaining the tracks and signal systems.
In 2019, at least 73 people were killed after a gas canister blast and fire on board an overcrowded passenger train near the town of Liaquatpur.