The death toll from the huge train fire in Pakistan has risen to 73. After rescue officials recovered eight more burned bodies from the train carriages.
The train, Tezgam, was on its way from Karachi to Rawalpindi, when a gas cylinder carried by a passenger exploded, killing and injuring passengers in the train. The fire destroyed three of the train’s carriages, including two economy class carriages and one business class carriage.
Head of the district rescue service Baqir Hussain confirmed the news of the death toll. Hussain added the dead bodies will be identified through DNA.
Hospital sources said, 10 of the dead bodies have been identified, while 17 are unidentifiable.
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.
“People were jumping off, some of them were on fire,” a witness told local media in Pakistan.
Thirty people were injured, the minister said. People sneaking stoves onto trains in order to prepare meals on long journeys is a common problem, he said.
Many of the passengers were heading to a conference organised by the Tablighi Jamaat Sunni Muslim missionary movement, he said.
Pakistan’s colonial-era railway network has fallen into disrepair in recent decades due to chronic under-investment and poor maintenance.
Eleven people were killed in an accident in July and four in another accident in September.
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.
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