A train carrying hundreds of Pakistan military personnel and their families plunged into a canal on Thursday, killing 12 soldiers, when a bridge collapsed in what the army suspects was sabotage, officials said.
The military’s media wing confirmed that four carriages fell into the canal. It said the commander of one unit was among the casualties.
The military is fighting a Taliban insurgency in several regions of the country’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan in the northwest.
The crash in Pakistan’s Gujranwala district, in the northeast, happened as an army unit was being transported from southern Sindh province to northern Pakistan.
“There were around 300 passengers on board,” Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq told Reuters. “It is too early to say about the reason for the mishap. Rescue work is under way.”
The collapse also raises concerns about the safety of infrastructure. Several TV channels reported that the bridge had been marked as “extremely dangerous”.