Pakistan News

17-hour disruption in rail traffic as two goods trains collide near Bholari

17-hour disruption in rail traffic as two goods trains collide near Bholari

HYDERABAD: Rail traffic between Karachi and other parts of the country was badly disrupted after two goods trains collided on an upcountry track between the Meeting-Bholari section in Thatta district — some 155km from Karachi — in the early hours of Saturday. Both up and down country tracks were closed to traffic until removal of the wreckage.

Assistant driver Intizar is said to have received injuries in the accident. Some Railways officials were quoted as saying that three other persons were also slightly injured.

Karachi divisional superintendent of Railways Nisar Memon said that one of the tracks would hopefully be cleared by midnight. He said that an inquiry had been ordered by the Pakistan Railways (PR) which would be conducted by the federal government’s inspector of Railways, Mian Arshad, who would visit the site on Sunday.

The collision took place at around 5.15am when a train carrying containers crashed into another one carrying furnace oil on the same track. The driver reportedly ignored the ‘red’ signal and resultantly his train rammed into the slow-moving train, it was initially ascertained.

Since early in the morning, Railways authorities had started work to clear the track by removing wreckage Reports received here from the site of the accident said that out of 24 wagons, around 16 capsized, a few more derailed and the remaining ones were completely damaged. Furnace oil spilled all over the tracks. Railway traffic from Karachi and Hyderabad had to be suspended. Two cranes were brought to the site for rescue work.

A large number of train passengers who had reached Karachi and Hyderabad railway stations to board different trains had to wait for a long time before they were given full refund of their tickets.

PR authorities decided to start train operations for upcountry from Hyderabad, instead of Karachi.

Chief controller Qazi Atique confirmed that 24 bogies were badly affected. As the damaged wagons plying on upcountry track fell on the down track, this completely blocked both the tracks. According to Hyderabad railway station superintendent Shamsuddin, the first upcountry train, Pakistan Express, left Hyderabad at 4pm followed by the Allama Iqbal Express at 4.45pm. He said that no train was leaving for Karachi from Hyderabad. Likewise, he said, passengers who were to reach Karachi through various other trains were given full refund of their tickets.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2017

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