SHIKARPUR: Eight passengers were injured when six coaches of the Karachi-bound Bolan Mail were derailed and three of them overturned near the Madeji railway station on Tuesday morning.

Initial investigation suggested that the accident took place due to dislocation of tracks weakened by a deluge caused by a breach in the nearby embankment of the Dadu canal a few hours earlier. The flooding during late-night hours could not be timely reported to the authorities concerned because of the area being unpopulated. However, the irrigation secretary has suspended the executive engineer and sub-engineer concerned pending an inquiry into the breach and derailment.

Relief and rescue work was started immediately after the accident and the injured victims were provided treatment at the Madeji rural health centre and the Lakhi Ghulam Shah Taluka Hospital. They were identified as Iqbal Khakhrani, Saima Jat, Jaan Bibi Bahirani, Dia Sri Ram, Farhana Babar, Ms Sonia, Ahmed Khoso and Zameer Shaikh.

Some train services scheduled to pass through Habib Kot junction were diverted to other routes after the Quetta Express bound for Karachi was halted at Shikarpur station and rerouted. Passengers of Bolan Mail were also provided an alternative train service which took them to Karachi at about 2pm, five hours behind the scheduled arrival of Bolan Mail.

The Sukkur divisional superintendent (DS) of railways said that normal traffic on the track could not be restored until the breach was plugged and the weakened section of the track was properly rehabilitated.

Railways officials estimated that it would take three days to restore traffic on this section.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2015

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