The Chenab Express was travelling towards the station at Taxila when the accident occurred at about 10:42 local time.
Local reports state that a locomotive engaged in shunting duties at Wah developed a fault. The driver and fireman got down from their engine which started to roll backwards. The diver of the engine tried to stop the engine by placing some stones on the track but failed. The runaway engine coverered a distance of some 3 kilometres and is thought to have reached a speed of more than 80 km/h when it hit the Chenab Express.
The locomotive and the first two carriages of the passenger train were severely damaged. A number of other carriages were derailed. The conductor of the train was amongst those who died. Estimates of the number of injured vary with some stating that more than 80 people were taken to local hospitals in a rescue operation that lasted about 5 hours. Most of the dead and injured were from a party of 83 Afghan Ismaili refugees being taken to Karachi for resettlement by an aid organisation.
Railway workers arrested
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has ordered an investigation into the crash.
The Chenab Express was involved in an accident near Jungshahi earlier this year in which 3 people were killed.
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This file last updated: Tuesday, 21-Sep-1999 14:17:40 EDT
Copyright © David Fry 1999