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Cylinder blast in Pakistan train kills dozens

At least 74 people were killed  after a train travelling from Karachi to Rawalpindi caught fire in Pakistan.

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

After the blast the blaze is thought to have spread to at least three carriages.




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

There were about 78 people each in two carriages and 54 in the third. Eyewitnesses say that many of the victims died as they tried to jump off the burning train.

Some 40 people have been injured as officials expect the death toll to rise.



It is common for passengers to bring their cooking stoves onto trains in order to cook meals on long journeys even though gas cylinders are banned.

Several passengers on board have blamed electrical problems on board the train resulted in fire contradicting the statements of Railway minister.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, wrote on twitter that he had ordered an “immediate inquiry” and was “deeply saddened by the  terrible tragedy”.

This particular train is popular among passengers who were heading to Raiwind near Lahore for one of Pakistan’s largest religious congregations, organised by the Tablighi Jamaat Sunni Muslim missionary movement. The journey between Karachi to Rawalpindi takes more than 25 hours.

This tragedy is Pakistan’s worst rail disaster in over a decade.

In 2007, at least 56 people were killed and more than 120 injured in a crash near Mehrabpur.

And in 2005, more than 130 people were killed when three trains collided in Sindh province in one of the country’s worst train disasters.


 

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