RAHIM YAR KHAN: The rail traffic on both the tracks remained suspended for 15 hours after eight bogies of a freight train derailed near Taranda Sawaye Khan railway station on Monday.

The passengers remained stranded without food and water at many railway stations, including Rahim Yar Khan, until up track was cleared on Tuesday.

According to the sources, almost 1,400 foot railway track was damaged after the accident which occurred on 3:30 pm and General Manager Public Relations Railways Headquarters Quratulain claimed that the rail traffic would be restored at 7pm the same day; however, rescue teams failed to do that and all up and down destination trains were halted at different railway stations.

Two rescue teams from railway divisions of Sukkur and Multan reached the site and started removing the debris of the bogies and containers from the track. They faced difficulties in work due to night.

According to RYK Station Master Maqbool Ahmed, only the up railway track was cleared at 6am today and Rehman Baba, Green Line, Awam Express departed which were halted at Rahim Yar Khan, Sadiqabad and Rohri. All the down destination trains, including Khyber Mail, Fareed Express, Bahauddin Zakaria Express, Allama Iqbal Express, Tezgam, Pak Business, Jaffar Express, Millat Express, Karakuram Express, Rehman Baba Express, Green Line Express and Jinnah Express, were halted for more than 20 hours at different railway stations after Khanpur.

First down Khyber Mail, which was due at 6:45 pm on Monday, reached at 2pm on Tuesday. Many passengers at Rahim Yar Khan Railway Station criticised the railways minister and the authorities over the shortage of drinking water and food because there were no such arrangements for the passengers who were stuck in trains for 20 hours.

The down track was still closed for rail traffic till filing of this report.

Pakistan Railways GM Public Relations Quratulain did not attend the call for railways version.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2019