ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - The death toll from Monday’s collision of two trains in southern Pakistan rose to 63 on Tuesday.
The number of fatalities increased from 51 after rescue crews recovered 12 more bodies from the wreckage of mangled train cars in the Ghotki district in Sindh province.
The deadly, early morning collision occurred when the Millat Express was traveling between the southern port city Karachi to Sarghodha when it derailed, leaving many cars full of sleeping passengers scattered over the tracks. Minutes later, the Sir Syed Express heading in the opposite direction rammed the derailed Millat Express.
Officials said more than 1,100 people were on board both the trains.
Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a statement it is premature to say whether the accident occurred due to a technical error, negligence, or sabotage but all aspects were being investigated.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “shocked by the horrific” train accident and ordered a “comprehensive investigation into railway safety fault lines,” on a Twitter post shortly after the collusion on Monday.
Shocked by the horrific train accident at Ghotki early this morning leaving 30 passengers dead. Have asked Railway Minister to reach site & ensure medical assistance to injured & support for families of the dead. Ordering comprehensive investigation into railway safety faultlines— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 7, 2021
Pakistan army and paramilitary troops were on the site and assisting civilian rescue and relief efforts. Rescue efforts which began Monday continued overnight and into Tuesday, according to local reports.
Train accidents are rare in Pakistan, whose antiquated railways have seen little to no maintenance or investment in decades.