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Pakistan train crash kills 19 pilgrims

The van that was taking Sikhs from a pilgrimage site back home to Peshawar. Photo: BBC

At least 19 people have been killed after a train hit a van carrying Sikh pilgrims in north-eastern Pakistan.

All the dead are said to be from one family and were on their way home from Nankana, one of the Sikh religion’s main sites also Eight others were hurt.

According to police, The crash, involving a Karachi-Lahore express train, happened on a level crossing near Sheikhupura, in Punjab province.

Officials said the driver of the van in Friday’s accident had tried to take a short cut to avoid the crossing, where the gates were closed. Initial reports suggested the crossing had no barrier.

Sheikhupura police told Dawn newspaper that there were 25-26 people travelling in the van, adding that women and children were among the casualties.

It comes after a string of recent fatal accidents on Pakistan’s railways.

More than 70 people died when a Karachi-Rawalpindi train caught fire during its journey in November last year.

It was just one of more than 100 railway-related incidents in the country last year.

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