64 Killed in Pakistan Train Fire

No fewer than 64 passengers died when a train travelling from the Pakistani city 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, with the blaze spreading 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, BBC writes.

Another 30 people have reportedly been injured and officials say the number of dead may still rise.

“Two cooking stoves blew up. They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire,” Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said.

Passengers bringing stoves onto trains in order to cook meals on long journeys is a common problem, the minister said.

He added that many passengers were heading to a conference organised by the Tablighi Jamaat Sunni Muslim missionary movement.

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

The train running from Karachi, across most of Pakistan to Rawalpindi, is the Tezgam – one of Pakistan’s oldest and most popular train services.

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