QUETTA - At least seven people, including a policeman, were killed and 18 others wounded after an explosion ripped through a railway station in Sibi town of Balochistan on Wednesday night.
According to police sources, the explosives were placed beneath a bench at platform No 2 close to a cold drink stall which exploded with a huge bang when passengers disembarked for refreshment from the Jaffer Express. As a result, seven people died while more than a dozen, including two children, were wounded.
“Several people have been killed and 18 others wounded,” Deputy Commissioner Shahid Saleem Qureshi said and added that the condition of three injured was serious, while a policeman was also amongst the dead.
Sources said the blast was so powerful that it damaged a bogie of the train and the structures at the railway station.
“Jaffer Express was at the railway station after reaching from Rawalpindi and ready to leave for Quetta after few minutes when the blast occurred,” sources said.
Soon after the blast, police and personnel of Frontier Corps rushed to the site soon and cordoned off the area. The dead and injured were moved to hospital through ambulances and private vehicles by rescue workers and local people.
“About 10 to 15 kg explosives were used in the blast and investigations were underway to unearth motive behind the blast,” Sibi DIG Qazi Hussain said, adding that the Jaffer Express had now left for Quetta.
No group claimed responsibility for the bomb blast till filing of this report.
Agencies add: Hospital sources put the number of injured, who were rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital and Combined Military Hospital, at 30. The explosion appeared to target the express train from Quetta en route to Rawalpindi, as the locomotive came into platform two at Sibi station, officials said.
“The blast happened at around 11:30 pm,” Shahid Saleem told AFP.
Officials warned that the death toll could rise further with so many in a serious condition, but said the number of casualties would have been greater had the train been fully on the platform at the time of the attack.
“The dead include a railway police constable and a child, aged six or seven,” Saleem said.