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article imagePower line hits passengers of crowded Pakistani train; at least 11 killed

By Carolyn E. Price     Jan 28, 2007 in World
Shia's celebrating Ashoura killed by overhead electrical wires
Dozens of people who were sitting on the roof of a crowded passenger train were by hit by an overhead power transmission line in southern Pakistan. At least 11 people were killed and more than 40 others were injured.
Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Sunday's "tragic" accident occurred near the town of Sukkur in Pakistan's southern Sindh province. Mr. Ahmed said that the fatalities and injuries were caused when people were either electrocuted or tossed off the top of the moving train.
Salahuddin Haider, a spokesman for the Sindh provincial government, said that the bodies of 10 people were taken to hospitals in Sukkur and the nearby town of Shikarpur, and "scores" of other people were injured in the accident.
Many of the passengers sitting on the train's roof were Shiite Muslims who were travelling to the town of Rohri, near Sukkur, to attend a religious gathering. Some of those sitting on the roof carried religious flags and other symbols that apparently struck the overhead electricity line.
No one knows how many people were on the train's top but the train was crowded and when people could not get on, they climbed up onto the roof.
Shiite Muslims gather at a mosque in Rohri in connection with the annual mourning festival of Ashoura, in which Shiites express grief over the killing of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Islam's prophet Muhammad.
The final day of Ashoura is on Tuesday. Shiite mourners stage parades where they carry religious flags and other symbols and beat their chests in a sign of grief.
The accident occurred about 360 kilometres northeast of Karachi.
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