20 people, mostly Sikh pilgrims, feared dead as train rams bus in Pakistan’s Sheikhupura
Twenty people, mostly Sikh pilgrims, are feared dead in an accident between a bus and a train near Sheikhupura on Friday afternoon.
The bus carrying the pilgrims was hit at an unmanned railway crossing by the Karachi bound Shah Hussain Express. The pilgrims were travelling from Peshawar. Police have said there were 25-27 persons in the van at the time of the accident.
Pakistan railways official said railway and district rescue teams arrived at the spot to rescue the victims. The injured were rushed to Sheikhupura Hospital and some are reported to be in critical condition.
The crossing gate where the accident took place was closed but the coach driver may have tried to take a shortcut instead of waiting at the crossing, which resulted in the crash, a local police official said.
According to the secretary-general of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Sardar Amir Singh, the deceased belong to three or four families.
The pilgrims were on their way back to Peshawar after a visit to Nankana Sahib — where they had gone to visit relatives. The convoy of pilgrims comprised two more coaches but both took another route and have been reported to be safe.
Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan said that the sikh pilgrim were returning from Nankana Sahib. He also said that the injured will be provided with proper medical care.
“Deeply saddened at the accident this afternoon at a railway crossing near Sheikhupura which resulted in the death of atleast 20 people, mainly Sikh pilgrims returning from Nankana Sahib. Have directed that proper medical care be provided to the injured,” Khan tweeted.
Officials said the Sikh pilgrims were from the northwestern city of Peshawar, reported news agency Associated Press.