70 die in Pakistan train fire

Asia and Oceania

REPORTS from Pakistan say 70 people have been killed while several others were injured after a fire broke out on a passenger train.

The incident took place on a popular train known as the Tezgam Express, which travels between the cities of Karachi and Rawalpindi, as it was crossing through Punjab province.

Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed revealed that the explosion of a gas canister as passengers were cooking breakfast on a stove on the train on Thursday morning.

The minister added that most deaths occurred when passengers jumped from the moving train as they desperately tried to escape the fire.

“Two stoves blew up when people were cooking breakfast, the presence of kerosene with the passengers in the moving train further spread the fire,” Sheikh Rashid Ahmed is quoted as saying by various news outlets.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan has since ordered an immediate inquiry.

Khan tweeted: “Deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy of the Tezgam train. My condolences go to the victims’ families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. I have ordered an immediate inquiry to be completed on an urgent basis.”