27 killed as fire breaks out in train in Pakistan

Friday, 01 Nov, 2019

At least 73 people were reported dead and 40 others injured when fire engulfed three bogies of Tezgam Express due to an alleged cylinder explosion at Liaquatpur in Rahim Yar Khan on Thursday morning.

Flames roared through the carriages as the train approached the town of Liaquatpur in Punjab, in the latest tragedy to hit the country's dilapidated, poorly maintained and mismanaged rail system. The cause of the fire was a gas bottle that passengers picked up on the train to make their breakfast, but it exploded.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was "deeply saddened by the awful tragedy" on Twitter, adding that he had ordered an "immediate inquiry". In a post on Twitter, Khan said that he had ordered an immediate inquiry.

Rescue officials say they have counted at least 16 bodies while media reports suggest the death toll from the fire has jumped to 25. I asked my family members to jump off the train before the fire reached us. The next auto was on fire.

This July some 21 passengers were killed and over 80 injured after two trains collided in the nearby Sadiqabad district.

"We learned after that majority had died", he said, adding that it was almost 20 minutes before the train stopped.

Abbas' wife, Sulai Khan Bibi, said she was horrified what would happen to their two small children.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said the fire took place Thursday when some of the passengers were preparing breakfast on the speeding train in violation of rules.

"It will be the joint responsibility of the running crew to confiscate gas cylinders being used by the passengers in running trains", the notification said. "But it was impossible", said Ahmed.

Rescue workers have been looking through the charred debris and burnt wreckage of the train for survivors, and local television channels showed firefighters struggling to contain the flames.

Railway officials said there were more than 200 passengers travelling in the three carriages, in which there were at least 77 passengers in one of the carriages while there 78 in the other economy class carriage.

The train departed from Karachi and was heading into northern Pakistan on a journey that would have taken more than a day.