Karachi: At least 12 people were killed and over 100 others injured today when a passenger train derailed in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, weeks after it was targeted by Baloch militants in a blast near Quetta.
Four coaches of Rawalpindi-bound Jaffar Express derailed from track this morning at Ab-i-gum area in Bolan district of the province, officials said.
The train was coming from provincial capital Quetta. The driver of the train and his assistant are among those killed in the accident.
Railway Minister Saad Rafique said that 12 people were killed and over 100 others injured in the incident. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals in provincial capital Quetta where an emergency has been declared in all hospitals. "The death toll may rise as some of the injured were in critical conditions," he added.
Pakistan Railway launched investigation as the immediate cause of the mishap was not known as yet. According to the initial investigations, the train derailed due to the failure of its brakes, media reported.
Balochistan Home Minister sarfaraz Bugti said that military was helping in rescue operation. He said 26 injured were shifted with the help of army helicopters to hospitals. On November 1, four persons were killed and six others injured when a remote-controlled bomb placed close to railway track struck the Jaffar Express on the outskirts of Quetta.
Those killed were railway employees. The outlawed United Baloch Army had claimed responsibility for the blast.
Trains are often targeted by Baloch militants fighting for greater control over the mineral resources of the province.