HYDERABAD: A collision between two freight trains on Saturday in Jamshoro district disrupted inter-provincial railway traffic and caused a loss of hundreds of millions of rupees. The incident, which happened near Bolhari Railway Station, a few kilometres away from the Kotri Railway Junction in Jamshoro, also left a train's driver and another staff member injured.
A goods train coming from Karachi struck another goods train head-on at the station, producing a deafening bang. Railways Divisional Superintendent Nisar Memon told the media that 24 bogies were derailed and at least half a dozen, including five that contained oil, overturned. Both the engines were also destroyed.
The damage also extended to an approximately 600-metre portion of both the tracks. "The restoration will take 14 to 15 hours," said Memon, who reached the spot a few hours after the incident took place. The divisional superintendent held one of the train drivers, Muhammad Khalid, responsible for the incident.
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"The freight train didn't stop at the signal and caused the accident," he said. Memon said that Pakistan Railways is trying to arrange alternative transport for passengers stuck at the railway stations in Karachi, Jamshoro and Hyderabad.
Railways and local police were deployed at the tracks to secure the site and prevent theft of the material from dozens of flipped over containers, Railways police officer Asad Unar said.
Khalid and Intizarul Haq were shifted to the taluka hospital in Kotri. They were later referred to Civil Hospital, Hyderabad, where Khalid refused to speak to the media about the incident.
Around a dozen trains were stopped at different stations in Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Sanghar and other districts, leaving thousands of passengers stranded for hours. However, the authorities managed to operate four passenger trains from Hyderabad, which were scheduled to carry passengers from Karachi to the upcountry.
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These include the Pakistan Express, which left the Hyderabad Railway Station at around 3:45 pm, Allama Iqbal Express, Karakoram Express and the Business Train.