12 Killed In Pakistan As Train Plunges Into Canal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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12 Killed In Pakistan As Train Plunges Into Canal

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 at 3:51 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

At least 12 soldiers have been killed in Pakistan after a train carrying hundreds of army personnel derailed from a bridge and plunged into a canal.

The army said four carriages derailed after part of the bridge collapsed near Wazirabad in Punjab province.

It was not clear what caused the bridge to collapse, but reports said it dated back to the British colonial era.

Khawaja Saad Rafique, Pakistan’s Railways Minister, suggested sabotage may have been involved in the accident.

“It seems like some other hand must be involved because derailment does not happen like this,” he told local media.

The dead reportedly included a senior officer.

Mr Rafique called the incident “unprecedented.”

“It could either be a case of a blast or someone has tried to loosen the fish-plate on the track,” he told Karachi’s Geo TV.

A preliminary report would be issued on Thursday night, followed by a more detailed report within 72 hours, he said.

A rescue mission involving rubber dinghies, helicopters and divers was launched, live TV footage showed.

Pakistan inherited thousands of miles of track and trains from the former colonial power, Britain, but the railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and under-investment.

In May, seven people including the ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines were killed after a Pakistani military helicopter crashed on its way to the country’s mountainous north where the diplomats were set to inspect tourism projects.

The Indonesian ambassador later succumbed to his injuries after being flown to a hospital in Singapore.