9 killed as school bus collides with Pak train



Islamabad: Nine persons, including eight children, were killed and 15 others injured when a school van collided with a train at an unmanned crossing in Pakistan's Punjab province today.

The accident occurred at a railway crossing at Mosavirk in Mian Channu at 8.15 am due to thick fog, police officials said.

The driver of the van was among the dead. Many of the injured are in a critical condition, officials said.

There were about 30 children in the van when it collided with the Rawalpindi-bound Jaffar Express due to poor visibility.

Police said the accident occurred due to the van driver's negligence.

Aslam Bodla, a parliamentarian from Mian Channu, said there are at least three railway crossings without any gate in the city.

He said he had recommended to the government to put up gates at these railway crossings but no action was taken.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed grief and concern over the accident.

Gilani directed authorities to inquire into the incident and to submit a report to him at the earliest. He also directed Pakistan Railways to ensure proper vigilance at unmanned crossings, particularly when there is fog, to ensure public safety.

PTI