Five killed as train falls into canal in Pakistan

WAZIRABAD, Pakistan - At least five people were killed on Thursday when a train carrying soldiers and military hardware fell into a canal in Pakistan following the partial collapse of a bridge, officials said.

The accident occurred near the town of Wazirabad in the country's most populous province Punjab as it headed to the garrison town of Kharian.

A statement issued by the military said four carriages derailed as the train crossed Chanawan Bridge.

"80 passengers have been rescued so far including five injured. Five dead bodies have been retrieved while four passengers are missing," the statement said.

A rescue mission involving rubber dinghies, helicopters and divers was launched, live TV footage showed.

Rauf Tahir, a spokesman for the railways ministry confirmed the incident, adding that the injured were taken to a military hospital in the nearby city of Gujranwala.

Pakistan inherited thousands of miles of track and trains from the former colonial power, Britain, but the railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and under-investment.

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