A fire swept through a Pakistani train, Tezgam on Thursday, killing at least 65 people and injuring nearly 40 after a gas canister that passengers were using to cook breakfast exploded, government officials said. The train connects major Pakistani cities including Lahore, Karachi, and Rawalpindi.
(Text from Reuters)
It was the worst disaster on Pakistan's accident-plagued railway system in nearly 15 years.
According to the Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said, two stoves blew up when people were cooking breakfast, and the presence of kerosene with the passengers in the moving train further spread the fire.
Several survivors questioned whether the fire was sparked by a cooking accident, telling media they believed the cause was a short-circuit in the train's electrical system. Television pictures showed fire and black smoke pouring from the train's windows after it came to a stop on a stretch of line flanked by fields.
Pakistan’s colonial-era railway network has fallen into disrepair in recent decades due to chronic under-investment and poor maintenance, and accidents are common. About 130 people were killed in 2005 when a train rammed into another at a station in Sindh province, and a third train hit the wreckage.