At least 65 people were killed and more than 40 injured in a fire on a passenger train in Pakistan on Thursday morning after two cooking stoves blew up. The incident took place when the Karachi-Rawalpindi Tezgam express was travelling in Liaqatpur near Rahim Yar Khan town in the south of Punjab province in the country. The fire engulfed three coaches of the train.
Waking up to horrible new of loss of over 60 lives in a fire at #Tezgam train is so heart wrenching.— Farzana Shah (@Jana_Shah) October 31, 2019
Every time loss of lives in such accidents on trains in India & Pakistan is a sharp reminder we are still far behind in public safety measures but happy sending monkeys to space pic.twitter.com/ykiqBdTGqD
"Two cooking stoves blew up. They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire," Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was quoted as saying by Geo television. He went on to add that the majority of deaths took place because the passengers were jumping off the train.
Cooking stoves are not allowed on trains but many passengers sneak them to cook food during long journeys. The injured have been shifted to hospitals nearby and rescue operations are on.
"The injured have been taken to the hospital, but unfortunately there is no nearby hospital [with a burn unit] so we are trying to get them by helicopter to Multan," a Pakistani minister was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.
Imran Khan condoles accident
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted his distress regarding the accident and condoled the lives lost. He wrote, "Deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy of the Tezgam train. My condolences go to the victims' families & prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. I have ordered an immediate inquiry to be completed on an urgent basis."