PESHAWAR/LAHORE - Moving scenes were witnessed as the Sikh community in the provincial capital took the bodies of Sheikhupura train accident victims to a Shamshan Ghat in Nowshera district on Saturday.

While speaking to The Nation, a Sikh community elder Gurpal Singh said that a total of 22 people died in Friday’s accident including two Muslims (the vehicle’s driver and helper) and 20 Sikhs.

He said one of the deceased persons, a girl, was resident of Nankana while 19 other members of Sikhs community belonged to Peshawar. Since there was no Shamshan Ghat in Peshawar, they shifted the bodies to Nowshera district for last rites, he said.

A report said five deceased persons belonged to the family of Sethik Singh, three to the family Bhagwan Singh and four were from the family of Mahinder Singh in Peshawar. Sethik Singh’s son Kaka Singh, his wife Puran Kor, second son Papendar Singh along with his wife Waljeet Kor and Sethi Singh’s third son Jai Singh died in the incident.

Similarly, Bhagwan Singh’s wife Minhat Kor and two sons Harmeet Singh and Balbir Singh also lost their lives. Also, Maninder Singh, a wholesale trader in People’s Mandi, died along with his wife, son and mother in the accident.

The Sikh families had gone to Nankana to offer condolence over the death of a relative. On return, the vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a speedy train at a railway crossing near Gurdwara Sacha Sauda in Sheikhupura.

Earlier, on the instructions of Government of Pakistan, a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) C-130 aircraft carrying dead bodies of Sikh Yatrees landed at PAF Base Peshawar.

The dead bodies of 21 Sikh Yatrees and a driver, who died in a dreadful collision between a coaster and train near Sheikhupura, were airlifted from PAF Base, Lahore last night, said a PAF press release.

The relatives of the deceased had gathered at the PAF base Peshawar to receive the dead bodies. "11 males, 10 females and a four year child died in the accident, while 05 injured were under treatment at the hospital."

Meanwhile, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force in his message said that he was grieved at the loss of precious lives in the tragic accident. He also expressed heartfelt condolences with the bereaved families who lost their dear ones and also prayed for the early recovery of the injured.