Pakistan priest says Govt has responsibility for rail safety

The head of one of the Pakistan Catholic bishops' commissions has said that Wednesday's train accident that claimed the lives of more than 120 people requires a thorough investigation.

AsiaNews reports that Fr Emmanuel Asi, executive secretary of the Catholic Bible Commission of Pakistan, said railways are important to the people and the government "should pay special attention to their improvement and to the safety of passengers".

According to Father Asi, Pakistan has suffered other railway disasters either because of negligence or structural weaknesses to the rail infrastructure. "Railway lines should be doubled in many areas of the country like Ghotki," he said.

The official death toll now stands at 120 people, but it is likely to rise. Hundreds of people have been injured, and some of them are still trapped inside the 17 carriages.

Railways authorities have set up a control centre to help relatives with information on the victims, including the names of the dead and as well as that of medical facilities were the injured have been hospitalized.

For the police it is still too early to determine the causes of the collision, but a technical fault is suspected. Railways officials are instead blaming one of the train drivers for misreading a signal.

Rail accident a national tragedy (AsiaNews.it 14/7/05)

15 Jul 2005