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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 11:33 GMT
Pakistan lowers train death toll
Crash site, 19 December 2007
The scene of the crash was strewn with wrecked carriages
Rail officials in Pakistan say fewer people were killed than was at first thought in a train derailment in southern Sindh province on Wednesday.

Officials had said at least 56 people were killed in the disaster, but now put the confirmed death toll under 40.

It is still not clear what caused the Karachi-Lahore express to crash. An investigation has begun. Officials say faulty track may have been to blame.

Hundreds have died in recent years in accidents on Pakistan's railways.

As of now, a technical problem is still the possibility
Asad Saeed,
Pakistan Railways

Pakistan's railway authorities and the local government in Sindh province both lowered their casualty figures on Thursday.

Sindh officials told the BBC that 38 people were confirmed dead, all but one of whom had been identified. Another 200 had been injured, officials said.

The 37 bodies identified were being handed to relatives for burial.

The railways website listed the names of 28 people killed in the crash whose bodies had been taken to a hospital in the town of Mehrabpur.

Survivors have told Pakistani television channels they believe more people may have died in the disaster than official figures suggest.

Cold weather

The derailment happened shortly after 0200 on Wednesday (2100 GMT on Tuesday) in a remote area, about 400km (250 miles) north of Karachi.

Map

Some carriages were severely damaged and others came to rest in water near the track after the train slid off an embankment.

Officials said the most likely cause of the crash was that the track had cracked in cold weather.

Pakistan has a history of deadly accidents on its ageing railway system.

Signalling faults and poorly maintained tracks are often the cause of the accidents.

More than 130 people were killed when three trains collided in Sindh province in July 2005 in the country's worst train disaster for 15 years.



SEE ALSO
Pakistan train crash kills dozens
19 Dec 07 |  South Asia
Pakistan train disaster kills 132
19 Jul 05 |  South Asia
World's worst rail disasters
13 Jul 05 |  South Asia
Country profile: Pakistan
28 Nov 07 |  Country profiles

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