It was unclear what caused the crash. Pakistan’s railway minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, said the train had been running at a relatively slow speed of 28 miles per hour when it crashed near Nawabshah city in Sindh, Pakistan’s second-most-populous province.
“It could be a technical fault, or it could be an act of sabotage,” said Rafique, adding that an investigation is underway.
Officials said several children were among the injured, and photos from the scene showed overturned and mangled passenger cars.
Pakistan’s aging railway network has long lacked funding, and there has been mounting criticism of insufficient safety checks — factors that contributed to a number of major railway accidents in the past.
Two years ago, 65 people were killed when two trains collided in the same province where Sunday’s incident took place. A gas explosion and fire on a train in Punjab province killed over 70 people in 2019.
Noack reported from Paris. Haq Nawaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, contributed to this report.