24 February 2024
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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Railways on Tuesday suspended six officials in connection with the derailment of the Hazara Express near Nawabshah that left at least 30 people dead, ARY News reported.

The Pakistan Railways’ administration suspended six officials, including two 18-grade officials, after a departmental probe into the crash revealed that missing fishplates and a damaged track caused the derailment of the Hazara Express.

The officials included Divisional Executive Engineer of Sukkur Hafiz Badrul Arfeen, Assistant Executive Engineer of Nawabshah and Power Controller of Kotri Basheer Ahmed.

Similarly, the suspension list also includes Atif Ashfaq of Karachi Diesel Workshop and Arif, a permanent inspector from Shahdadpur. Additionally, Kangle Ghulam Muhammad, a grade three officer, was also suspended.

The railway authority identified six employees whose alleged negligence may have contributed to the tragic incident.

A day earlier, a departmental probe into the crash revealed that missing fishplates and a damaged track caused the derailment of the Hazara Express.

“After checking from all the aspects, we came to [the] conclusion that [the] accident took place due to fresh rail broken and fishplates missing,” the report said.

The team also identified skidding of the train’s locomotive as another reason behind the derailment.

Horrible train accident

At least 30 people were dead and over 100 sustained injuries when 10 bogies of Hazara Express travelling from Karachi to Rawalpindi derailed near Nawabshah.

Railway officials reported that the tragic incident occurred near Saharai Railway Station, located between Shahzadpur and Nawabshah when the Hazara Express was en route from Karachi.

The derailment resulted in 10 bogies veering off the tracks, leading to chaos and injuries among the passengers on board.

The injured and bodies were transferred to People Medical University (PMU) Hospital in Nawabshah.

Possible sabotage

Talking to journalists, Federal Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique raised suspicions of sabotage as the potential cause behind the train accident in Nawabshah.

“It was either a mechanical fault or it was developed,” he said on the possible causes.

Rafique said that the train was travelling at a reasonable speed, which initial investigations showed.

Abdul Gh Lone