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Officials say 6 people killed in Pakistan train accident

Associated Press Associated Press 15/09/2016 By ASIM TANWEER, Associated Press
Pakistani volunteers remove an injured passenger from a train that collided with a freight train near Multan, Pakistan, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Scores of passengers were killed and many others were hurt Thursday when a passenger train collided with a freight train near the central Pakistan city of Multan, rescuers and a railway officials said. (AP Photo/Asim Tanveer) © The Associated Press Pakistani volunteers remove an injured passenger from a train that collided with a freight train near Multan, Pakistan, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Scores of passengers were killed and many others were hurt Thursday when a passenger train collided with a freight train near the central Pakistan city of Multan, rescuers and a railway officials said. (AP Photo/Asim Tanveer)

MULTAN, Pakistan — At least six passengers were killed and more than 100 others were injured Thursday when a passenger train collided with a freight train near the central Pakistani city of Multan, rescuers and railway officials said.

The pre-dawn accident happened near the town of Sher Khan in Punjab province, 15 minutes after the freight train stopped after hitting a man on the track, railway official Saima Bashir said.

Bashir said the freight train had stopped so its driver could remove the body of the man who had been crushed to death while crossing the railway track. The freight train was then hit from behind by the passenger train.

"The driver of the passenger train did not see the red signal which went up after the man was crushed to death by the freight train," she said.

Bashir said authorities have ordered a probe to determine the exact cause of accident, but initial investigations suggest the driver of passenger train was at fault for the crash.

Munir Chishti, in charge of railway police, ruled out the possibility of sabotage, saying it was an accident.

Earlier troops rushed to scene of the accident, where Maj. Gen. Mohammad Arif, a senior army officer, told The Associated Press that the military would extend the best possible support to civil authorities to restore normal rail traffic and transferred the injured to hospitals.

Rescue official Kalim Ullah six bodies and more than 100 injured passengers were taken to hospitals. He said some of those injured were in a critical condition.

TV footage showed derailed cars and wreckage of the train as ambulances rushed away.

In a statement, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressed sympathies for the families of the dead and injured.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where tracks and bridges are often poorly maintained.

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