8 killed as train falls into canal in Pakistan
At least 8 people including a senior army officer were killed on Thursday when a train carrying soldiers and military hardware fell into a canal in Pakistan following the partial collapse of a bridge, officials said.
The accident occurred near the eastern town of Wazirabad in the country’s most populous province Punjab as it headed to the garrison town of Kharian.
A statement issued by the military said four carriages derailed as the train crossed Chanawan Bridge.
Military spokesman Asim Bajwa tweeted that eight bodies, including “Lieutenant Colonel Amir”, the commander of a unit, had so far been recovered while a further four people were missing.
A rescue mission involving rubber dinghies, helicopters and divers was launched, live TV footage showed.
Rauf Tahir, a spokesman for the railways ministry confirmed the incident, adding that the injured were taken to a military hospital in the nearby city of Gujranwala.
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.
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