HYDERABAD: An accident between a train and a car on an unmanned railway crossing in Matiari district on Sunday left six people dead. The deceased belonged to the same family, which hailed from Tando Allahyar district.
The Karachi-bound Green Line train rammed into a car carrying the deceased on the unmanned Jiskani railway crossing near Palejani railway station, some 28 kilometres away from Hyderabad. The family was travelling to Matiari to visit the shrine of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in Bhit Shah. The locomotive was also damaged in the crash.
Three brothers — 19-year-old Imtiaz Jarwar, 18-year-old Muzaffar Hussain Jarwar and 12-year-old Amir Jarwar — their 16-year-old sister Rabia alias Guddi, mother Shamim Jarwar and teenage cousin Furqan Jarwar were among the deceased.
"There is no staff deputed at the crossing," said a bystander ,Ahmed Ali Rahujo. "The vehicles pass through this place at their own risk." Even the railways divisional superintendent, Nisar Memon, confirmed that the crossing was not manned.
It is unclear whether the driver's negligence or some other factor led to the accident. Memon said a three-member inquiry committee, headed by divisional transportation officer, has been formed. According to him, the train was moving at the speed of around 100 kilometres when the accident occurred. According to witnesses, the train dragged the car for nearly a kilometre before the train driver could pull the brakes.
Meanwhile, the bodies were shifted to the taluka hospital before being moved to Allah Bux Jarwar village for burials. "They were going to pay their respects at the shrine. I wouldn't have let them go if I knew they will never return," said grief-stricken Urs Jarwar, husband of the deceased women and father of the three young men and girl.
According to him, Imtiaz was a undergraduate student while Muzaffar assisted him in his agriculture work. The youngest son, Amir, was enrolled at a religious seminary in Karachi.
The family sources claimed that the 70-year-old grandmother, Hajani Haleema Jarwar, died of shock when the bodies were brought to the house.
Hundreds of people of Palejani town staged a sit-in over the tracks and blocked Shalimar train for hours before the police negotiated with the protesters to end the blockade. "The crossing connects Tando Allahyar district with Matiari district," pointed out a resident, Anwar Khaskheli. "The traffic over this road has constantly increased but the railway authorities despite our repeated complaints have not built a barrier at the crossing."
Shahpur police, in whose jurisdiction the incident happened, registered a case of unintentional accident under CrPC 174 after the bereaved family reportedly refused to lodge an FIR.
Two separate accidents in Tando Muhammad Khan on Sunday and Monday also claimed six lives. Three young men — Zain Palijo, Imtiaz Palijo and Mushtaq Memon, who were riding a motorcycle — were struck by a car on Bulri Shah Karim road. They died on the spot while the car driver, Allah Dito Machi, was injured.
In another car accident on the same road near Bulri Shah Karim town, a car flipped over and fell in a water channel, drowning Allah Juryo Laghari, Mehmood Laghari and Badal Laghari. The deceased were residents of Sujawal district and were returning to their district from Tando Muhammad Khan when the incident took place. The locals pulled out the bodies that were shifted to Sujawal.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2015.