Over 70 killed and several injured In Pakistan train fire

Over 70 people have died and dozens injured following the explosion of a cooking gas cylinder on a train with pilgrims in Pakistan on Thursday, mostly Islamic preachers travelling to attend a well-known religious congregation.
Videos from the scene revealed flames were pouring out of three compartments, and some of the people could be heard crying as the train continued to engulf in flame, in a rural area of central Punjab province.
Some of the passengers, who many of them were pilgrims travelling to one of Pakistan’s most prominent religious gatherings, were preparing breakfast when two of their gas cylinders exploded, according to various reports.
Usually, Pakistanis carry food on long train journeys, but gas cylinders are supposedly banned and not allowed on the train. Pakistan’s railways minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed told reporters that it was a “mistake” to have allowed the gas cylinders on board.
Dozens of people gathered along the tracks staring at the burning carriages, which were already disconnected from the rest of the train, as shown by various images.
Firefighters quickly rushed to the scene near Rahim Yar Khan district. Rescue workers, as well as military personnel, could also be seen as bodies were carried away covered in white sheets.
“A cylinder exploded, and I don’t know how fire erupted everywhere,” one survivor, Muhammad Imran, told AFP from a hospital in Rahim Yar Khan.
“I jumped out of the train to save my life. There was a whole line of people behind me; they pushed.”
Muhammad Nadeem Zia, a medical superintendent at one of the hospitals, revealed to reporters that some of the victims died through head injuries sustained as they jumped from the moving train. He added that about 44 people had been injured.
Those hurt from the incidence were being taken to hospitals in the nearby city of Bahawalpur and elsewhere in Rahim Yar Khan district. Officials said many of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “deeply saddened” by the tragedy and had ordered an urgent inquiry.
Khan also said the train was the Tezgam, one of Pakistan’s oldest and most popular rail services, which ran between the southern port city of Karachi to the garrison city of Rawalpindi, neighboring Islamabad.

Author: Cossy

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