ISLAMABAD, July 3 (Xinhua) -- A train hit a passenger van at a railway crossing in Pakistan's eastern city of Sheikhupura on Friday afternoon, killing at least 19 people and injuring eight others, a rescue official said.
The collision occurred when the Lahore-bound Shah Hussain Express train traveling from the southern port city of Karachi rammed into the van at the railway crossing located between Farooqabad and Bahali Wala areas of Sheikhupura, a city in eastern Punjab province, Rana Muhammad Ijaz, emergency official of emergency rescue service Rescue 1122 in the city told Xinhua.
The death toll might further rise as several of the injured are in critical condition, said the emergency officer, adding that the accident occurred at an unmanned railway crossing, and the van was seriously damaged in the crash.
He said the passenger van was hit after its driver tried to drive through the railway crossing without noticing the approaching train.
Most of the passengers in the passenger van were Sikh pilgrims who were returning from Nankana Sahib, a district in eastern Punjab province, according to local media reports.
Following the crash, rescue officials from both Pakistan Railways and Rescue 1122 arrived at the scene and provided first aid to the injured.
The bodies and the injured were shifted to a nearby government-run hospital, said rescue officials.
Taking notice of the incident, Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad sought detailed report and ordered authorities to take immediate actions against those responsible for the accident.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed deep grief over the loss of lives in the incident and directed the concerned authorities to provide best medical facilities to the injured.