Lahore : Two persons, including driver of Shalimar Express, were killed while six others injured when five bogies and engine of the Karachi-bound train caught fire after colliding with an oil-tanker at a level crossing situated at Hiran Minar Road, here on late Monday night.
The accident occurred at Nabipura Railway Crossing where oil tanker was stopped due to fault in excel. At least six bogies and engine of the train caught fire. However, the passengers were evacuated.
Meanwhile, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has expressed grief and sorrow over the tragic train accident. Talking to news channels, he said incident will be investigated and stern action will be taken against the responsible persons.
According to Deputy Commissioner Arqam Tariq, on receiving information, fire fighting vehicles of Rescue 1122 and Fire Brigade reached the spot and started to extinguish the fire.
Rescue 1122 and Edhi ambulances shifted the injured to DHQ Hospital Sheikhupura while emergency has been declared in all hospitals of the city.
DPO Sarfraz Khan Virk said that driver of the oil tanker has been arrested and investigation was underway.
As many as three hundred train accidents were recorded over the last four years, according to the official data of Pakistan Railways.
Highlighting the different classification of these accidents, the documents stated that 46 accidents took place in 2013, 72 in 2014, 110 in 2015 and 72 were recorded till November 2016.
These accidents was caused by collision of passenger trains, goods trains, derailment of passenger trains, derailment of mixed trains, derailment of freight trains, collision of trains at manned level crossing, fire in trains and others. However, the two accidents each of collision of passenger and freight trains occurred in 2016.
As per details 14, 16, 37, 21 with total number of 88 accidents occurred due to derailment of passenger trains in 2013, 2014, 2015 and till November 2016 respectively. Only one accident occurred due to derailment of mixed trains in 2015.
Due to derailment of freight trains 9, 22, 37, 28 with the number of total 96 accidents occurred in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
Due to collision of trains at manned level crossing 14, 13, 18, 13 with total figure of 58 accidents occurred during 2013 to November 2016 respectively.
As per details 4, 16, 11, 2 with total of 33 accidents occurred due to fire in trains during 2013 to November 2016 respectively.
According to available details, 20 train accidents happened due to different reasons during 2013 to November 2016.
The causes of these 300 accidents are different like road users involved at manned level crossing, human failure, damaged
track, mechanical issue in locomotives, rolling stock, some anti-state elements sabotage the tracks and electrical failure.
These accidents claimed 67 lives while 357 got injured during 2013 to November 2016.
Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique informed the Senate that total 25 serious train accidents had occurred from May 2013 to December, 2016.
Replying to a question in the House, the minister said majority of the accidents were reportedly occurred due to the mistakes of railways employees.
“Seventeen 17 accidents occurred due to human error by the railways employees and seven were related to sabotage activities while one was due to natural calamity,” he added.
Saad Rafique said 94 persons died and 413 persons were injured in
the 17 railways accidents.
As per policy in vogue, he said the passengers and railway staff
on board a train were comprehensively insured. In case of an accident compensation was paid to the deceased and injured persons, he added.
Saad Rafique said 47 cases of injured and deceased were under
process for approval with the Ministry of Railways and Postal
Insurance for compensation.
The minister said the Pakistan Railways had started action against
those responsible for the accidents.
The department was also making all out efforts to improve the obstacle system and the government had started many projects in that
regard, he added.
To another question, the minister said the Pakistan Railways resumed
operation of Samasatta Bahawalnagar section which was closed in 2011. Moreover, the Rawalpindi Kohat section had also been operationalized.
He minister the work for the restoration of Sibi Khost line, which
had been out of operation since 2006, was in progress at a cost of Rs 3 billion and was likely to be completed by March, 2018.
A high level committee, he said, had been constituted at the headquarters to study the viability of restoration of the sections after due consultation with all the stakeholders.