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इंडियन आवाज़     09 Aug 2020 08:21:40      انڈین آواز

20 Sikh pilgrims dead as train rams into van in Pakistan

AGENCIES / WEB DESK

At least 20 Pakistani Sikh pilgrims returning from Nankana Sahib were killed when train crashed into their van as the driver attempted to cross train tracks near Sheikhupura today, police said. All the deceased are said to be from one family.

The driver of the mini-bus they were traveling reportedly tried to take a shortcut to avoid a shut railway crossing and rammed the vehicle into a passenger train, officials said.

According to the Sheikhupura district police officer, at least 20 were killed and eight have been injured.

Twenty-two members of a family had been traveling in a Toyota van from Peshawar to Nankana Sahib to attend a funeral, initial reports said.

Rescue officials said the driver of the van had tried to take the path from an unsecured railway crossing instead of the road when the vehicle collided with the Lahore-bound train near the Farooqabad Railway Station.

Evacuee Trust Property Board’s Deputy Secretary Shrines, Imran Gondal, said that all Sikh travellers were Pakistani nationals and residents of Peshawar.

Gondal said that the bodies of the victims were being shifted to Mayo Hospital Lahore, while the wounded are hospitalised in Sheikhupura and Lahore.

A few among the wounded are reportedly in a critical condition and receiving treatment at District Headquarters Hospital in Sheikhupura.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “deeply saddened” to hear of the accident. He extended condolences and prayers to the families of the deceased and directed authorities to provide the best possible medical treatment to the wounded.

The premier also vowed to “immediately” review the entire railway’s operational safety.

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