LAHORE: More than 75 passengers were killed and other 20 serious burned injuries, when a Gas Cylinder exploded in a running train near Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab.
The Tezgam Express was on its way to Rawalpindi from Karachi when the fire engulfed three of the train’s carriages near Rahim Yar Khan.
According to the Railway sources, “there are confirmed 75 casualties but there are fears the toll can go up. Fifteen people are injured.” Three people jumped out of the train, in order to save themselves from the flames.
The cylinder burst into flames in two economy class bogies and one business class. The injured are being shifted to nearby hospitals while rescue teams are busy in extinguishing the fire.
Speaking to a news channel Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid confirmed that two cooking stoves blew up. “They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire,” he stated.
“Most deaths occurred from people jumping off the train,” he added.
People sneaking stoves onto trains in order to prepare meals on long journeys is a common problem, the minister said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in Tezgam Express fire incident.
The premier condoled with the bereaved families. He directed the authorities concerned to provide prompt and best possible medical treatment to those injured in the incident.
The country’s railway network has fallen into disrepair in recent decades due to chronic under-investment and poor maintenance.
Eleven people were killed in an accident in July and four in another one in September.
About 130 people were killed in 2005 when a train rammed into another at a station in Sindh, and a third train hit the wreckage.