Pakistan fire: train travelling between the Pakistani cities of Karachi to Rawalpindi caught fire


At least 74 passengers have died after a train travelling between the Pakistani cities of Karachi to Rawalpindi caught fire.

Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the fire was caused by the explosion of a gas cylinder being used by passengers cooking breakfast.

The blaze is thought to have spread to at least three carriages.

According to officials cited in local media, many of the victims died as they tried to jump off the burning train.

Another 40 people have been injured. Officials say the number of dead may still rise.

The accident happened near the town of Rahim Yar Khan in the south of Punjab province.

Many passengers were pilgrims heading to Raiwind near Lahore for one of Pakistan's largest annual religious congregations, organised by the Tablighi Jamaat Sunni Muslim missionary movement. The train was reportedly diverted to help these religious travellers.

Three carriages were set alight, officials said, with 54 people in the 11th carriage and 78 each in carriages 12 and 13. Most of these passengers were en route to the religious festival, and most were reportedly from Mirpur Khas.

Mohammad Ramzan, who was on board, Urdu some pilgrims were making tea when their gas cylinder exploded. He jumped from the train to safety.

Survivor Jamshed Pathan told, he was in carriage 11 when they realised there was a fire just after they had finished morning prayers.

"There was chaos everywhere," he said. "It was very difficult for us to get out and save ourselves."

District deputy commissioner Jamil Ahmed said some of the victims were so badly burnt they could not be identified, and DNA testing would be used to find out who had died.


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