Death toll from Jaffar Express accident climbs to 19

Updated November 18, 2015


QUETTA: The death toll from a deadly train accident in Balochistan's Bolan has risen to 19 and around a dozen people are still in critical condition, officials said on Wednesday.

The Jaffar Express, carrying around 300 passengers from the provincial capital Quetta to Rawalpindi, derailed on Tuesday, though the cause remains unknown.

Take a look: 14 killed, over 100 injured as Jaffar Express derails.

Officials said that three more people succumbed to their injuries overnight.

“The death toll has risen to 19 now. A total of 96 people are being treated in hospitals and around a dozen are still critical,” Akbar Hussain Durrani, home secretary of Balochistan, told AFP.

Investigation underway

Pakistan Railways has formed a team, headed by Railways Inspector Muhammad Arshad, to probe the incident.

Following initial investigations, officials said a sudden failure of breaks may have been the underlying reason behind the tragedy.

But a survivor who had been injured said railway authorities’ negligence was the main reason behind the incident.

“There was smoke in the first bogie even at Mach Railway Station,” Humayoun told Despite our requests, the train was allowed to proceed and the authorities did not bother to resolve the issue, Humayoun said.

Pakistan Railways General Manager Javed Anwar also arrived in Quetta to oversee the investigation.

“A final report on the incident would be prepared within the next couple of days,” Anwar said. He also visited Civil Hospital to inquire about the health of those injured.

Dr Rasheed Jamali of the Civil Hospital Quetta said 33 of the injured were in a serious condition.

More than 60 injured were airlifted through military helicopters from Abe Gum area of Bolan and were admitted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH).

Train service between Balochistan and other parts of the country was suspended following the Jaffar Express incident. But railway technicians were quick to restore the service Tuesday night.

The passenger train has previously been a target of terror attacks in Bolan, Naseerabad and other areas of the province.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, which inherited thousands of miles (kilometres) of track and trains from former colonial power, Britain.

The railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment. In July, at least 17 people were killed when a special military train fell into a canal after a bridge partially collapsed.