Passenger train derails in southwestern Pakistan, killing 12

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2015 5:06 AM

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A train carrying 280 passengers derailed in a remote area of southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing the train driver and 11 passengers and injuring at least 57 people, officials said.

Senior police officer Tahir Mahmood said the accident took place near the village of Abe Ghum as the train was en route to the garrison city of Rawalpindi from Quetta, the capital of impoverished Baluchistan province. Railway official Iqbal Ahmed said a technical fault in the engine caused the accident.

Pakistani TV footage showed several badly mangled and destroyed train cars and rescuers pulling the injured from the wreckage. In a statement, the military said it dispatched a helicopter and ambulances to transport the injured to hospitals.

"This accident took place in a remote area and we are utilizing all resources to save precious lives," said Rauf Tahir, a spokesman for the Pakistan Railways, adding that an investigation into the accident is underway.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where tracks and bridges are often poorly maintained. Also, Baluchistan province where Tuesday's crash occurred, has long been the center of a low-level insurgency by nationalist groups that demand more autonomy and a greater share in the region's natural resources.

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Associated Press Writer Munir Ahmed contributed to this report from Islamabad.