LAHORE                -          More than 30 people were killed and dozens others wounded seriously when a train bumped into a passenger bus near Rohri railway station on Friday night, officials said.

Rescue workers reached the site and launched the operation. The victims were being shifted to hospitals till late Friday. Several women and children were among the victims and authorities said the death toll is likely to rise because many injured were said to be in critical condition.

According to an official of the district administration, the dead bodies were sent to the nearest hospital in Sukkur. The official described the accident as a “huge tragedy” and said that all administration and police officials were rushing to the site.

He said that it was an unmanned railway crossing as nothing existed there to prevent any traffic. The Sukkur commissioner said the victims were taken to different hospitals in Rohri and Sukkur.

Reportedly, the Pakistan Express train was on its way to Rawalpindi from Karachi, when it collided with a passenger bus at a railway crossing, splitting it into two. The bus was en route to Punjab and was carrying 20 passengers.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and directed the Sukkur commissioner to dispatch rescue teams to the area.

An official of the Sukkur health department said that 13 bodies were sent to Rohri hospital, while the others were sent to Sukkur hospital. Five women and nine men were among the dead, according to initial reports.

A state of emergency was declared in local hospitals on the directions of CM Murad Ali Shah, who directed the authorities concerned to ensure ample medicines and blood for those injured in the incident. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also took notice of the incident and directed the provincial government to ensure the best medical facilities for those injured in the collision.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of live and sought a report from his department. Further investigation was underway.