The Quetta-bound Akbar Express, which collided with a stationary freight train at the Walhar Railway Station in Punjab province of Pakistan, has claimed the lives of at least people and injured more than 70 others, with reports of fatalities continuing to come in.

The accident occurred due to the Akbar Express taking the loop line instead of the mainline track.

Deputy Commissioner Jamil Ahmed Jamil said that ‘heavy machinery was being used to rescue passengers who were stuck in the train.’

Passengers onboard the train were rescued and track clearance operations were carried out with the help of Pakistan Army personnel.

The engine of the train was completely destroyed in the accident and three compartments were damaged. The injured were admitted to nearby hospitals in Sadiqabad and Rahim Yar Khan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan asked Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed to undertake emergency steps to ensure safety standards are met.

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Khan said: “Have asked Railways Minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect of railway infrastructure and ensure safety standards.”

Stating that the accident occurred due to human negligence, the Railways Minister has ordered an investigation, which is expected to be completed in two to three days.

In June, six people were killed when a freight train collided into a passenger train in Hyderabad, a city in Pakistan.