Lahore [Pakistan], June 8 (ANI): Pakistan's train drivers' association has warned the country's Railways administration that they will hold nationwide protests if drivers of the Millat Express and Sir Syed Express are 'scapegoated' for the deadly accident that claimed lives of over 60 people in the Sindh province.
The accident occurred after the coaches of one train, the Millat Express, derailed and fell across the opposite track, where they were hit by another train, the Sir Syed Express, a spokesperson for Pakistan Railways said.
The death toll from the train collision in Sindh reached 65 on Tuesday as rescue operations ceased and the track was restored.
Speaking to Dawn, Shams Pervaiz, chairman of the association, said: "In most accidents, we are held responsible for the mistakes we have not committed. In Monday's accident also, it is evident that some coaches of the Sargodha-bound Millat Express derailed and fell across the opposite down track where they were hit by the Karachi-bound Sir Syed Express."
"This time, we will not allow anyone to hold the poor drivers responsible for the tragedy, as there was no fault on the part of the crew of either train," he added.
He also dismissed speculations of over-speeding by Sir Syed Express and said the drivers had repeatedly informed the authorities about the track's dilapidated condition "but, unfortunately, no action was ever taken".
Meanwhile, Pakistan Railways Chairman Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani has said recurring accidents are taking place on this particular railway track in Sukkur Division which he knew was in poor condition.
Speaking to Geo News, he said: "The problem is that when we talk about spending funds and repairing it completely another difficulty arises that if we spend millions and billions on it we'll have to disband the track when the ML-I will start."
The Railways' chief engineer on June 4 had written a letter to the DS Railways, Sukkur, asking him to start repair work as all the resources had been provided.
On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had expressed shock at the loss of lives from the Ghotki train accident and ordered a "comprehensive investigation" into the incident.
"Shocked by the horrific train accident at Ghotki early this morning leaving 30 passengers dead. Have asked Railway Minister to reach the site and ensure medical assistance to the injured and support for families of the dead. Ordering a comprehensive investigation into railway safety fault lines," he tweeted.
Indian High Commission in Pakistan had also expressed grief over the train accident in Ghotki. "We are saddened at the tragic train accident that took place in Ghotki, Sindh today morning. We offer condolences to families of the deceased and wish speedy recovery to the injured," Indian High Commission in Pakistan said in a tweet on Monday.
A Railways spokesperson said a three-member team had been constituted to probe the accident, reported Dawn. (ANI)