11 die, 60 hurt in Pakistan train crash

World | REUTERS 12 Jul 2019

A passenger train crashed into a stationary freight train in Pakistan yesterday, killing 11 people and injuring more than 60 under overturned carriages, police said, with the prime minister blaming ageing, poorly maintained rail infrastructure.

The Akbar Express, heading to the western city of Quetta from Lahore, crashed into the freight train in Punjab province, destroying five carriages.

Rescue workers fhad to cut through twisted metal, and dozens were taken to hospital, police said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed the infrastructure of the colonial-era railway network which has fallen into disrepair due to chronic under-investment and poor maintenance.

"Have asked Railways Minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect of railway infrastructure and ensure safety standards," Khan tweeted.

Last month, six people were killed when a freight train collided with a passenger train in Hyderabad 165 kilometers from Karachi.

The cause of yesterday's crash is under investigation but Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said human error was believed to be responsible.

"I have ordered an inquiry. Investigation will complete in two-three days," he said.

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