QUETTA: A bomb blast at a railway track near Sibi on Tuesday derailed four bogies of Jaffar Express, leaving six passengers injured.
The train was going to Rawalpindi from Quetta.
The blast destroyed a large portion of the railway track, snapping Balochistan’s rail link with other parts of the country.
The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement issued here.
Pakistan Railways officials said that Jaffar Express left for Rawalpindi from Quetta and when it reached near Sibi a powerful bomb blast took place that derailed four carriages of the train.
“Six passengers travelling in the affected bogies suffered injuries,” the officials said.
They said that soon after receiving information about the blast, PR officials along with security personnel and rescue teams rushed to the area to help the injured and restore the railway track.
The injured were taken to Sibi district hospital where the condition of all the injured was stated to be stable.
Relief train and other equipment were immediately dispatched to the incident site.
They said that the locomotive and four bogies were damaged in the blast, but most of the passengers remained unhurt.
The PR officials said that engineers and other staff had reached the site of the blast with heavy machinery and started work to remove the detailed bogies and the engine from the track and restore train traffic.
The Quetta-bound passenger trains coming from Karachi and Rawalpindi were stopped at different railway stations till completion of repair and restoration work on the railway tracks.
“Complete restoration of railway traffic will take at least 23 hours,” sources in Pakistan Railways said.
Security officials, who examined the explosion site, said that it appeared to be an IED which had been detonated by a remote control.
Personnel of security forces have launched a search operation in the area to arrest the elements involved in the blast. Some suspects have been taken into custody.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo has condemned the bomb blast and said that the elements involved in the terrorist act would not be spared.
Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2022