The train was carrying military personnel and their families when a bridge collapsed. The army claims it was sabotage, officials said.
The military’s media wing confirmed that four carriages fell into the canal. It said that 12 people died and the commander of one unit was among the
casualties. The train fell into the canal as an army unit was being transported from the southern Sindh province to northern Pakistan.
The military is fighting a Taliban insurgency in several areas bordering Afghanistan in the northwest.
The minister for railways told press that there were around 300 passengers on board and that, “it is too early to say about the reason for the mishap. Rescue work is under way.”
A senior military official said the army suspected sabotage.
“We suspect that this was an act of sabotage… The planks on the rail were tampered with,” the official said, requesting anonymity saying he was not authorised to speak to the media. However, several TV channels reported that the bridge had been marked as “extremely dangerous”.
Earlier this year, in May, a Pakistan military helicopter carrying diplomats to inspect a tourist project crashed, killing seven people, including the ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines.