Pakistan: 62 killed, scores injured after moving train catches fireLast updated on Oct 31, 2019, 12:19 pm
At least 62 people died and dozens were injured in Pakistan after a moving train caught fire near Liaquatpur area on Thursday morning.
A cylinder explosion, when passengers were preparing breakfast inside one of the coaches, triggered the blaze.
Three coaches, including two economy and one business class, were completely destroyed in the mishap. Rescue operations are underway.
Here are more details.
Some people died after they jumped off the train
The train was traveling from Karachi to Rawalpindi. According to Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed, two stoves blew almost instantly. The cooking oil aided the blaze.
He added that a large number of people died after they jumped off the train in a bid to rescue themselves.
The minister assured that the affected track will be functional within two hours.
Unfortunately, nearby hospitals lack facilities to treat the injured
Most of the bodies are yet to be identified. While some injured were shifted to DHQ Hospital in Liaqatpur, the critical ones were taken to Bahawal Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur.
"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," the Railways Minister added.
The fire has been extinguished, search operation underway
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Jamil Ahmed is overseeing the cooling and search operation. The fire has been put off by Rescue 1122 teams.
In a statement, Inter-Services Public Relations confirmed Army personnel and paramedics have been dispatched to the site to help in rescue operations.
Reportedly, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed condolences and asked authorities to accord medical assistance to the injured.
The tragedy could have been averted, said Human Rights Minister
This tragedy brings back attention to Pakistan's colonial-era trains which are crumbling in the absence of maintenance work. People sneaking in stoves on long journeys is a common sight.
After the accident, Pakistani Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said, "A tragedy that could have been avoided but ever since I can recall while traveling by train no baggage check or restrictions enforced."
- Pakistan News