Fire engulfs moving train in Pakistan; death toll rises to 71
MULTAN, Pakistan — An official has said that death toll from a horrific train fire that broke out after a cooking gas stove used by passengers exploded has risen further to 71.
Kaleem Ullah, an official with the district emergency services, said another 43 people are injured, with 11 still in critical condition, following the blaze on the train traveling in eastern Punjab province on Thursday morning.
Initial reports placed the number of people killed at 16, which increased immediately as reports from the ground came in. The victims include women and children.
Survivors said it took the train nearly 20 minutes to come to a halt after the fire broke out and passengers began screaming for help. Some pulled at emergency cords that weave through the train to notify the conductor.
Thursday’s tragedy underscores how Pakistan’s dilapidated train system is badly in need of repairs and maintenance.
Pakistan’s prime minister has expressed deep sorrow over the “terrible tragedy.”
Khan took to Twitter to express his condolences to the families of the victims and said he’s praying for the speedy recovery of the injured.
The prime minister also ordered an urgent investigation into the incident,
According to authorities, the fire erupted when the cooking gas stove used by passengers for cooking breakfast exploded. They said members of an Islamic preaching group known as Tablighi Jamaat were preparing their meal in violation of railway rules that ban passengers from using gas stoves on trains. /kga
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