At least 20 people have been killed in the second such incident within a span of few weeks.

Hydraulic cutters have been called at the site to retrieve dead bodies, officials said of the train accident.
Hydraulic cutters have been called at the site to retrieve dead bodies, officials said of the train accident. (Radio Pakistan/ Twitter)

A passenger train rammed into a freight train in eastern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 80 others, according to local media reports

The freight train was stationary when the speeding passenger train hit it at Walhar Railway Station in Rahim Yar Khan, the main city in eastern Punjab province. 

According to a senior government official, Jamil Ahmed, hospitals declared an emergency and were receiving casualties from the collision.

Ahmed said some of the injured passengers were listed in critical condition.

Hydraulic cutters have been called at the site to retrieve dead bodies, another official Umer Salamat said.

PM Khan saddened 

Prime Minister Imran Khan quickly ordered authorities to provide best possible medical care to the victims. In a statement, he said he was saddened by the news.

Khan ordered Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad to "take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect of railway infrastructure" and ensure safety standards.

Authorities said Pakistan's army was also taking part in the rescue efforts.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan mainly because of poor railway infrastructure and negligence of railway authorities.

In a similar accident last month, three people were killed when a passenger train collided with a freight train in southern Sindh province, raising questions about the safety of this mode of transportation. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies