SHEIKHUPURA/LAHORE, March 16: Seven people died and 15 others were injured when the 80-Down non-stop train running between Lahore and Faisalabad derailed at Qila Sattar Shah station, 24km from Sheikhupura, on Saturday.
Railway authorities said the train was coming to Lahore when it was diverted to loopline to give way to 15-Up Shorkot-bound Jaranwala Express. But the driver could not stop the train in time and it rammed into the ramp on the dead end, they added. The locomotive and a bogey carrying 44 passengers overturned, while another bogey derailed, they said.
Three of the deceased were identified as Rana Ghazanfar Ali, son of Mohammad Sadiq, of Narowal; Abdul Ghaffar, son of Mohammad Hanif, of Chak 116 in Jaranwala; and Riaz Maseeh, son of Sadiq Maseeh, of Chak 36 in Toba Tek Singh.
The injured were shifted to the Sheikhupura DHQ hospital.
A large number of people rushed to the scene and joined the rescue operation. They provided their vehicles to shift the injured to hospitals.
Of the injured, Abdul Shakoor and Shah Jahan, both belonging to Faisalabad, were transported to Mayo hospital in Lahore in critical condition.
Haji Khalid Mehmood of People’s Colony, Faisalabad, Imtiaz of Rajgarh in Lahore, and Syed Azhar Akhtar Shah of Railway Colony, Lahore, are under treatment in the DHQ hospital of Sheikhupura.
Railway authorities in Lahore said that a relief train had been sent to put the derailed train back on tracks. They said that traffic on the section remained unaffected as the accident had occurred on the loopline.
Railway authorities announced a compensation of Rs100,000 for the families of each deceased and Rs50,000 for each seriously injured passenger. Two emergency centres have been set up — one at Faisalabad and the other in Lahore — to provide information to the relatives of passengers. Phone numbers of these centres are: Lahore: 9201110, and Faisalabad: 9200488.
NNI ADDS: “We expect more casualties as some of the injured, particularly minors and women, are breathing hard,” a doctor at the hospital said.
“Apparently the accident occurred when the driver pushed the pressure breaks to stop the train, realizing that the train was put on a wrong track,” a railway official told reporters.