Pakistan Railways has suspended six officials, including a divisional engineer and a works manager, for their alleged negligence that led to a major train accident in the country's Sindh province that killed at least 34 people.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique revealed details about the unfortunate incident, placing the blame on the damaged track for the derailment of the ill-fated train.
The Hazara Express train travelling from Karachi to Rawalpindi derailed on Sunday in Nawabshah district near the Sarhari Railway Station, 275 kilometres from the provincial capital Karachi.
In response to the tragic accident, six railway officials have been suspended, and financial compensation worth Rs 1.5 million each has been announced for the families of the victims.
Speaking during Tuesday's assembly session, Rafique said that the investigations into the accident were underway and the report would be finalised in a few days.
Explaining the cause of the accident, he said two wheels of a bogie were jammed at the time of its departure from Karachi. Besides that, the railway track near the site of the crash was also damaged, which led to the accident.
However, as per the initial report, out of 12 total wheels of the locomotive were jammed when the train started its journey from Karachi which should have been removed. Besides, a piece of railway track near the accident site was also damaged, which led to the accident.
Earlier, the Ministry of Pakistan Railways issued a notification for the suspension of the officials.
The notification stated that the officials including a divisional engineer and a works manager had been suspended after an inquiry against them.
An initial report on the accident stated that there were no fish plates connecting the line at the site of the accident and instead of the broken track, a piece of wood was previously installed for repair.
The minister said that no wood was used in joints rather Parmelia fishplate was being used for railway signal systems worldwide as the signal system did not work without it.
He explained that it was a special type of fishplate which was imported from Germany or Holland.
The minister also completely ruled out the chance of any sabotage activity.
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