Train collision
© Reuters
Locals gather at the scene where two trains collided near Multan, Pakistan, September 15, 2016
At least six people have lost their lives and more than 150 others sustained injuries in a train crash in central Pakistan.

According to media sources in Pakistan, the casualties occurred early on Thursday when a passenger train collided with a freight train near the central Pakistani city of Multan in Punjab Province.

Explaining the accident, Saima Bashir, a railway official, said the freight train had stopped so its driver could remove the body of a man who had been crushed to death while crossing the railway track, and as a result, the freight train was then hit from behind by the passenger train.

Bashir placed the blame on the passenger train's driver, saying he failed to heed a red signal that had gone up after the freight train had stopped.

Authorities have, nevertheless, ordered a probe into the mishap to determine the exact cause of accident.

Reports said some of the injured passengers were in critical conditions.

Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, meanwhile, sympathized in a statement with the families of the dead and injured in the Thursday crash.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where tracks and bridges are often poorly maintained and railways have fallen into disrepair due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.

In July last year, a special military train fell into a canal after a bridge partially collapsed, claiming the lives of at least 17 people.

In July 2005, nearly 130 people lost their lives when a train rammed into another at a station in Sindh Province, and a third train hit the wreckage.