Ghotki rail crash

The Ghotki rail crash occurred on 13 July 2005, at around 3:40am local time (2240 July 12 UTC) near Ghotki, Pakistan. No. 24 Dn train (Quetta Express) stopped at the station of Sarhad was hit from behind by the following Karachi Express (No. 16 Dn) train, causing several cars to derail; these were then hit by a third train running in the opposite direction (Tezgam). A total of seventeen train cars, carrying over 3000 passengers, were wrecked. Estimates of the death toll ranged as high as over 130. It was the worst train accident in Pakistan in fifteen years.

Ghotki rail crash
Date13 July 2005
LineKarachi to Rawalpindi
OperatorPakistan Railways
Incident typeCollision
  • Incorrectly set points
  • Signal malfunction
Deathsmore than 100


The Quetta Express was stopped at Sarhad station because of a fault in the brakes when the Karachi Express travelling from Lahore to Karachi on the same line half an hour later and moving at about 120km/h (75mph), collided with it from behind.[1][2] An emergency brake application after the crew saw the tail light of the stopped train could not prevent the collision because of insufficient braking power; two coaches had been isolated from the train braking system.[1] The collision caused at least three train cars to derail onto the opposite direction track, where they were subsequently hit by Tezgam, heading from Karachi to Rawalpindi. More cars were derailed by this second impact, bringing the total to thirteen.[2][3] All three trains were full of passengers, as trains often are in Pakistan.[2] a total of seventeen cars were wrecked, with over 3000 passengers.

The Ghotki crash was the worst rail accident in Pakistan since the 1990 Sukkur rail disaster.[3][4] The exact number killed was not originally known; initial reports were of 109[5] 120,[6] 127,[3] or more than 130 deaths,[2][4] with many critically injured.


Initially the conductor or driver of the Karachi Express was believed to have missed or misread a signal,[2][4][5][6] but subsequent investigations found that the signalling system was faulty and the crew had misjudged which signal was wrong. Also the points had not been set to direct the train to the loop line.[1]


  1. "News: Ghotki Trains Crash". Pakistan Railways. 5 March 2006.
  2. "Pakistan train disaster kills 132". BBC News. 19 July 2005.
  3. "3-train crash kills 127 in Pakistan". The New York Times. 14 July 2005.
  4. "Death toll in Pakistan train crash rises to 133". NBC News. AP. 14 July 2005.
  5. Haris Zamir; Khalid Qayum (13 July 2005). "Pakistan Triple-Train Crash Leaves 109 People Dead (Update 2)". Archived from the original on 11 September 2005.
  6. Raheel Junejo (13 July 2005). "Worst Rail Crash: Kills 100s with injuries to 1000 in Pakistan". Pakistan Times. Archived from the original on 30 April 2009.

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