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Dozens Killed in Train-Bus Accident

IQBAL JAFFERYOctober 21, 1986

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) _ Two packed buses that were racing each other slammed into a moving passenger train today, killing at least 35 people and injuring 24 others, officials and witnesses said.

All those killed had been aboard the buses and it appeared no one on the train was injured, police said.

Police and witnesses said the buses were racing each other when they approached a train crossing that had not been blocked off even though an express passenger train was passing through.

The two speeding buses hit the train and were demolished, witnesses said. Many bus passengers were crushed beneath the wheels of the train, they said.

Crowds of onlookers gathered at the scene in Karachi’s Landhi area as rescue workers and police tried to clear the wreckage and extricate the wounded and the dead.

The train consisted of a locomotive and a single passenger car with some police officers aboard who had been checking the line.

The bodies and the injured were taken to Jinnah Hospital by more than 40 ambulances.

Doctors at the hospital said 35 people were killed in the crash, including eight women and a child. Twelve of the injured were released from the hospital but many who remained there were in critical condition, doctors said.

The emergency room was in chaos as doctors and nurses tried to treat the wounded, and the dead were identified by weeping relatives.

Police officers at the accident scene and at the hospital said just two of the dead had been identified.

Most buses in Karachi and the rest of Pakistan are run by private bus companies.

The buses, commonly referred to as ″yellow devils,″ are notorious for racing each other to try to pick up passengers and often are involved in accidents.

Karachi has a history of rioting and civil disturbances after bus accidents. More than 50 people were killed in riots in April 1985 after some schoolgirls were hit by two racing buses.

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