Fast-moving train splits passenger bus into two in Sukkur district of southern Sindh province, officials say, adding 55 people are injured.

Officials say rescue operation was ongoing but complicated by the darkness.
Officials say rescue operation was ongoing but complicated by the darkness. (AA)

At least 18 people were killed and dozens more injured when a passenger train rammed into a bus on Friday in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, officials said.

The incident took place in Sukkur district, where the incoming Pakistan Express — on its way from Karachi to Lahore — hit the bus, which was heading to Sargodha in central Punjab province.

"At least 18 people have been killed and 55 wounded," Rana Adeel, a deputy commissioner in Sukkur, told AFP news agency, warning that the death toll could rise as some of those hurt were in critical condition.

Sukkur is some 470 km north of Pakistan's biggest city, Karachi.

Senior railway official Tariq Kolachi, who was at the scene, confirmed the updated toll to AFP and said the rescue operation was ongoing but complicated by the darkness.

Kolachi said the accident occurred at an unmanned railway crossing, and the bus split into two because of the force of the crash.

"All those killed and injured were passengers from the coach," he said, adding that an assistant train driver sustained minor injuries.

Common accidents

Rail accidents are common in Pakistan, which inherited thousands of kilometres of track and trains from former colonial power Britain.

The railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.

Source: AFP