Pakistan: 19 killed in train crash

3rd Jul 2015
Pakistan: 19 killed in train crash

[Pakistani rescue workers takes part in a rescue operation after train compartments fell into a canal following the partial collapse of a bridge in Wazirabad in the Punjab province, Pakistan on July 2, 2015. Photographer: Rana Irfan Ali/Anadolu Agency]

 

By Aamir Latif

 

KARACHI, (AA):  A train carrying troops has fallen off a collapsed bridge in northeastern Pakistan’s Punjab province, killing at least 19 people, including an army lieutenant colonel, his wife and two children, an army spokesman said Thursday.

A total of 82 people were also injured in the crash with local television channels showing images of wounded soldiers after the front four coaches of the train fell into a canal in the province’s Wazirabad town.

Army spokesman Major-General Asim Salim Bajwa tweeted confirmation that the train accident occurred when soldiers were being taken to the garrison town of Kharian, some 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

“Update: Initial investigation, Railway Bridge collapsed. Shaheed [martyr] confirmed 12 including Comd [commandant] of unit, Lt.col [lieutenant colonel] Amir. 8 bodies found. Rescue continues,” Bajwa tweeted earlier Thursday.

Later, the spokesman revised the figure to 19 dead, which included an army major. Fourteen bodies were recovered from the canal, while five remained missing, he added.

Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif attended the funeral ceremony of 10 officers and soldiers in Gujranwala.

Earlier, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq told reporters that the incident could be the result of a militant attack since the bridge had previously been in good condition.

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