At least 35 passengers died and more than 100 were injured in the latest railway accident in Pakistan. According to the reports, two trains, Millat and Sir Syed Express collided in Ghotki, Sindh near Raiti railway station. Rescuers and villagers worked together in pulling the dead and injured out from the wreckage. Video footage of the incident went viral on social media showing train carriages laying flat on the ground.
Reportedly, authorities were also trying to arrange some heavy machinery to rescue trapped people because they were unreachable by the rescuers. Some reports later notified that the death toll has risen to 35. Collectively, there were around 1,100 passengers on both trains.
Who is Responsible for Railway Accident in Pakistan that Killed 35 people?
According to the reports, the Millat Express derailed and the upcoming Sir Syed Express smashed into it. It was not clear what caused the derailment and a successive collision. Railway Minister Azam Swati said that experts and engineers were trying to figure out what happened.
Some media reports said that the authorities failed to answer critical questions by saying that they were busy in an emergency situation. However, the media noted that after 4 hours, no heavy machinery reached the scene as they claimed, which has led to speculation for the rise in the death toll.
PM Imran Khan as usual expressed grief and asked the railway minister to support the families of the bereaved.
However, people have been concerned that this railway accident in Pakistan will also be swept under the rugs and no substantial action will be taken. The public has criticized that condemning the tragedies and then announcing support for the bereaved has become a norm for the government.
Pakistanis Reminding Khan about his Opposition Days
Whenever a railway accident in Pakistan occurred when Khan was in opposition, he seemed to take a stronger stand. Many have noted that after becoming Prime Minister, Khan has become equally careless and numb to the tragedies. Perhaps this is why most Pakistanis are coming to realize that Khan’s justice campaign against corrupt forces was only a sham to get voters. An opposition member raised a question that if Khan would remove the railway minister now as he demanded from the government while he was in opposition.
While the train is a popular mode of transport between cities in Pakistan, train accidents are equally common. Every government in the country has failed to improve the railway system.
How many Train Accidents have happened under PTI’s Rule?
As far as the current regime is concerned, it has also failed to fix the railway despite its promises. Just like all other governments, PTI has also paid little attention to the poor management of decaying tracks and faulty signal systems.
After becoming PM, Khan appointed the railway ministry to the controversial politician, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed from August 2018 till December 2020. Under his ministry, there were reports of 7 deadly train accidents in a shockingly short span of time. Instead of firing Rasheed as Railway Minister, Khan elevated him to the position of Interior Minister in 2020.
Latest one in Ghotki became 8th on the list of railway accidents in Pakistan in the first 3 years of PTI.
Brief details of these accidents are as follows:
16 September, 2018:
Khushal Khan Khattak Express was going to Peshawar when 9 of its bogies derailed near Attock injuring 20 passengers.
27 September, 2018:
Only a few days after, another Peshawar-bound train derailed in Sehwan, Sindh. 11 bogies were overturned and luckily passengers remained safe.
18 December, 2018:
A school van crashed into a passenger train after the railway crossing gate was left open during dense fog. 12 children were injured and no casualties were reported.
20 June, 2019:
Passenger train ran into a stationary cargo train in Makli Shah, Hyderabad killing 3 people.
11 July, 2019:
A passenger train collided with a cargo train near Sadiqabad, Punjab while going to Quetta. It killed 24 people and injured more than 100. Later it was reported that the accident happened due to a delay in switching the train tracks.
31 October, 2019:
A fiery explosion inside a moving train killed more than 70 people in Rahim Yar Khan. Officials blamed everything but themselves. Some said that there could have been some short-circuit while others blamed passengers for carrying gas cylinders in the train. No authentic reasoning was given as usual.
28 Feb, 2020:
A collision between a train and a passenger bus in Rohri, Sindh, killed at least 20 people and critically injured several others. Reports revealed that in this case too there was no one to prevent traffic from jumping the train track.
7 June, 2021:
The latest incident tells a similar story of the Pakistani Railway system. Derailment and unmanned railway crossing are common forms of the accident here. Moreover, the trains are in poor condition and they are often dangerously overcrowded with a greater number of people than the train is actually designed for. Poor track maintenance, signal issues, and worn engines are other factors that play a major role in railway accidents in Pakistan.