GUJRANWALA/ FAISALABAD/ ABBOTABAD/ LAKKI MARWAT: Five more bodies were recovered on Friday from the site of the train crash near Wazirabad in Gujranwala, where it plunged into a canal after a pre-Partition bridge collapsed on Thursday.
Four of the deceased were identified as Major Islam, Naik Muhammad Arif, Naseer Ahmad and Usman. The death toll from the deadly accident has reached 19.
The ill-fated freight train was headed for Kharian from Pano Aqil with more than 300 passengers on board when it met an accident near Jamke Chatha due to the bridge collapse. At least 14 army personnel died as four bogies were fell into the canal.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique reviewed different aspects of the accident during a meeting held at the Pakistan Railways headquarters, where it was decided to give financial support to the families of the victims.
Funeral and burial
The military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations, said the Namaz-e-Janaza of Major Muhammad Adil Sharif was offered at the Lahore Garrison. The funeral was attended by Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Naweed Zaman, Rangers (Punjab) Director General Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki, General Commanding Officer Maj Gen Sardar Tariq Aman and a large number of army officers and soldiers.
Major Adil was buried with full military honours at the army graveyard in Cavalry Ground, the ISPR stated in a press release.
Another deceased army officer, Lt Col Amir Jadoon, was buried with his two children and wife in their ancestral graveyard in Mohalla Shoaibzai, Nawanshehr. His funeral was held at the FF Regiment Centre Ground, where Mangla Corps Commander Lt Gen Hilal, Pakistan Military Academy Commandment Maj Gen Nadeem, Hazara commissioner and DIG among other civil and military officers were in attendance.
Army troops presented a guard of honour and placed floral wreaths on behalf of COAS Gen Raheel Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the graves.
Lt Col Jadoon was promoted to the rank about eight months ago and was transferred from Panu Aqil to Khariyan. He was travelling with his wife Tehmina Khan, daughter Fatima, 7, and son Saifullah, 10, when the tragedy struck.
The funeral of Saleem Khan was held in his native village Tarri Khel, about 50 kilometres from Lakki Marwat. The funeral was attended by a large number of people, including many elected representatives, family members and friends.
Train driver’s funeral
The Namaz-e-Janaza of the train driver, Chaudhry Muhammad Riaz, was offered at the Railway Colony in Faisalabad. Riaz was 57 years old and was due to retire after three years. At the funeral, prayers were also said for the martyred army personnel and their family members.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.