At least 30 people were killed and dozens injured Monday when a packed Pakistani inter-city train ploughed into another express that had derailed earlier, officials said.
An unknown number of people were still trapped in mangled wreckage near Daharki in northern Sindh province, a railway spokesman said, adding rescue workers had called urgently for specialist equipment so they could be extracted.
“The site is far and that’s why we are facing some trouble in the rescue work,” he said, adding at least six wagons were destroyed in the accident.
Mobile phone footage shown on television from the site revealed the wreckage, with several green Pakistan railway carriages lying on their side.
One clip showed medics giving an intravenous drip to a conscious passenger whose lower torso was trapped between crushed carriage benches.
The accident happened in a remote part of the province on a raised section of track surrounded by lush farmlands.
The Millat Express was heading from Karachi to Sargodha when it derailed before dawn, spilling carriages onto a track bringing the Sir Syed Express from Rawalpindi in the opposite direction.
The railway spokesman and senior Daharki police officer Umar Tufail said 30 people had been killed and dozens injured.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “shocked” by the accident and promised a full inquiry.
“Ordering comprehensive investigation into railway safety faultlines,” his official Twitter account said.
Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz Satti, chairman of the national disaster management authority, told private TV channel ARY that Pakistan army and paramilitary rangers had already reached the site from nearby bases to help with the operation.
Rail accidents are common in Pakistan, which inherited thousands of kilometres (miles) of track and trains from former colonial power Britain.
But the network has seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.
At least 75 people died when a train caught fire while travelling from Karachi to Rawalpindi in October 2019.
Two trains carrying hundreds of passengers collided in Karachi in 2016 killing 21 people.