Death toll in Pakistan train collision rises to 23

Pakistani rescuers and local residents gather around the wreckage of carriages at the site of train accident in Rahim Yar Khan district in Punjab province. (AFP)

The death toll from a train collision in central Pakistan rose to 23 on Friday after several people succumbed to their injuries overnight, officials said.

The incident took place Thursday in Rahim Yar Khan district in Punjab province when a passenger train coming from the eastern city of Lahore rammed into a goods train that had stopped at a crossing.

The accident saw mangled carriages flipped on their sides and left debris strewn by the sides of the tracks as rescuers used cranes to enable them to pick through some of the twisted wreckage.

"According to the latest updates available with us, the death toll rose to 23 overnight after more people died of their wounds in different hospitals," a senior Pakistan Railways official told AFP.

He said a total of 73 people were still being treated for injuries.

Another senior railways official confirmed the toll and said, "rescuers have pulled out all the dead and injured from the wreckage".

"We are now focusing on quickly clearing the track," he said, adding that an investigation has already been ordered.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the railways minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect in railway infrastructure and ensure that safety standards are upheld.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where the railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.

Pakistan train collision kills 11, injures 78

At least 11 people were killed and nearly 80 injured when two trains collided in central Pakistan early Thursday, officials said.

The incident took place in Rahim Yar Khan district in Punjab province when a passenger train coming from the eastern city of Lahore rammed into a goods train that had stopped at a crossing, a senior government official said.

A senior Pakistan Railways official gave AFP the toll, adding: "We fear the death toll will rise as rescue teams are still cutting (through) the wreckage."

Earlier, local police officer Omar Salamat told TV channel Geo News that dozens had been taken to nearby hospitals.

"The condition of three to four passengers is critical," he said.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where the railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.

TV footage from the site showed the heavily damaged train engine and carriages, as emergency workers and local people used metal-cutting tools and heavy cranes.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, the country's minister for railways told TV channel Aaj that an investigation had been launched to determine the causes of the incident.

Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted his condolences, adding: "Have asked Railways Minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect of railway infrastructure & ensure safety standards."

Also on Thursday at least nine passengers were killed and 22 injured when a speeding bus overturned near the capital Islamabad, a police official said, while a landslide in the northwestern Swat valley killed six people, all from one family.

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