GUJRANWALA: At least 12 people, including four army officers, were killed when two bogies of a special train carrying army officials fell into a canal and two others were derailed as a railway bridge collapsed near Gujranwala on Thursday.
The deceased include Pakistan Army Engineering Battalion Unit Commander Lt. Col Amir Jadoon, his wife and two kids, Lt. Col Rashid, Major Adil, Lieutenant Kashif, Constable Aslam, Lance Naik Zafar and staffers Babar and Aslam.
Lt Gen Asim Bajwa tweeted that four bogies of a special train carrying military troops to Kharian fell over a bridge near Jamke Chattha into a canal.
Another tweet confirmed that 12 personnel, including Commander of a unit, Lt. Col Amir had died. He added that eight bodies had also been found so far.
A relief train, carrying technical and medical staff, has been sent to the spot from Lahore, while two helicopters and other rescue teams have started relief operations.
According to government officials, as many as 80 affected passengers have been rescued. Injured passengers have been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Gujranwala.
The special train was heading to Kharian from Pano Aqil. According to sources, the train was carrying army personnel who were travelling for a military exercise.
Local residents, divers and army personnel have been engaged in rescue operations while all railway traffic has been disrupted on the route.
The pre-partition bridge that collapsed as the train was passing over it was reportedly in a dilapidated condition.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed concern on the train accident in Gujranwala. He directed to mobilise all resources to rescue the injured and restoration of the track.
Federal Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said that a probe has begun into the incident and that so far no evidence of terrorism has been found. But he did say the possibility of sabotage could not be ruled out in the tragedy.
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