The Awam Express hit a stationary cargo train about 25 km (15 miles) from the city of Multan, Geo TV said, citing local officials. Four carriages were overturned. There was a delay in the emergency response due to Eid holidays in Pakistan, a mainly Muslim nation of 190 million people.

About 10 people were badly injured. Pakistan's colonial era railway network has fallen into disrepair in recent decades due to chronic under investment and poor maintenance. About 130 people were killed in July 2005 when a train rammed into another at a station in Sindh province, and a third train hit the wreckage.