LAHORE: The train drivers’ association has warned the Pakistan Railways (PR) administration that they will hold nationwide protests if drivers of the Millat Express and Sir Syed Express are scapegoated for accidents.

“In most accidents, we are held responsible for the mistakes we haven’t committed. In Monday’s accident also, it is evident that some coaches of the Sargodha-bound Millat Express derailed and fell across the opposite down track where they were hit by the Karachi-bound Sir Syed Express,” Shams Pervaiz, chairman of the association, told Dawn on Monday.

“This time, we will not allow anyone to hold the poor drivers responsible for the tragedy, as there was no fault on the part of crew of either train.” He said Millat Express driver, Ayub, and an assistant, Usman, felt a jerk when the train derai­led. The train automatically stopped and they reported it to the control room.

Mr Pervaiz also dispelled the impression of over-speeding by Sir Syed Express and said the drivers had repeatedly informed the authorities about the track’s dilapidated con­­dition “but, unfortunate­ly, no action was ever taken”.

Meanwhile, a PR spokesperson said a three-member team had been constituted to probe the accident.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2021

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