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Two express trains collided in Pakistan, officials say, killing at least 30 people

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Authorities said the two express trains collided in southern Pakistan, killing at least 30 passengers as rescuers and villagers tried to pull injured and other bodies out of the rubble.

Fifteen to twenty passengers were still stuck in the wreckage of a Millat Express train, and authorities were trying to install heavy equipment to rescue people who were calling for help, said Umar Tufail, chief of police in the Gotka district of Sindh province, where the collision occurred before dawn. …

The Millat Express went off the rails and was soon hit by the Sir Sayed Express train, ”said Usman Abdullah, deputy commissioner in Gotki. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash and subsequent collision.

“Right now, we are faced with the task of quickly rescuing those passengers who are still trapped in the wreckage,” he said.

Abdullah said 30 people have died to date. There were about 1,100 passengers on board the two trains, rail officials said, and steps were taken to help the surviving passengers.

Some of the passengers were on the Millat Express to the wedding, according to local media reports, but it is unclear if they were among the dead or injured.

Television footage showed ambulances carrying injured people to hospitals. In accordance with Pakistani Television stations and heavy equipment did not arrive at the scene approximately four hours after the crash.

Pakistani Railways officials said they have ordered an investigation and rescue efforts are still ongoing.

Some of the injured passengers were hospitalized in critical condition.

The authorities said troops had arrived at the scene of the accident to take part in the rescue work.

Malik Aslam, a local resident, told Pakistani Geo News TV that about 100 people were injured and he counted at least 30 bodies of passengers during rescue and recovery operations.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where successive governments have paid little attention to improving poorly maintained signaling systems and outdated tracks.

In 1990, an overcrowded passenger crashed into a standing freight train in southern Pakistan, killing 210 people in the worst train disaster in Pakistani history.

(AP)

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