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Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Pakistan express train derails
The wreckage of the crashed Pakistani train
The wreckage of the crashed Pakistani train
At least 12 people have been killed and about 60 injured in a train derailment in western Pakistan, railway officials say.

The disaster occurred on a bridge which collapsed near the town of Sibi, south-east of Quetta, early on Thursday morning.

The 12-car express train had departed from Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad and was bound for Quetta.

Railway officials and military personnel are stilll trying to find the cause of the accident on the recently-built bridge.

Cause unknown
Wounded passenger in a nearby hospital
Dozens of passengers were injured

Pakistan Railways said eight cars of the Quetta Express had gone off the tracks as the train was crossing a bridge near Sibi, 150 kilometres (95 miles) from Quetta.

Helicopters and ambulances are at the scene and residents and rescue workers, assisted by army personnel, have spent most of the day helping the injured.

An emergency centre has been established at Rawalpindi station to provide information to the general public and train services in and out of Quetta have been suspended.

The accident comes just over two weeks after a luxury express train from Calcutta to Delhi derailed in eastern India, killing nearly 120 people.

Railways Minister Javed Ashraf was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying "it appears to be an act of sabotage."

However, other railways officials said that it was not possible to say at this stage what caused the accident.

Pakistan's railways are antiquated and accidents are not uncommon.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in train accidents in the country in the last 10 years.

Faulty equipment and human error are often blamed.

See also:

13 Sep 02 | South Asia
09 Jan 01 | South Asia
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