The train, Tezgam, was on its way from Karachi to Rawalpindi, when a gas cylinder of passengers exploded.
The fire was caused by the explosion in a gas cylinder, confirmed the Pakistan Railway officials.
Some of the passengers — many of whom were religious pilgrims travelling to a congregation in the eastern city of Lahore — had been cooking breakfast when two of their gas cylinders exploded, Ali Nawaz, a senior Pakistan Railways official, told AFP.
According to information reaching us from the site of the accident, more than 71 people were killed and over 40 injured,” provincial health minister Yasmin Rashid told AFP.
Pakistan Army, reacting to the incident, dispatched doctors and paramedics to the site to assist the civil administration in rescue and relief activities.
The military’s media wing further said Army Aviation helicopters were also dispatched from Multan to evacuate the critically injured
The wounded were being rushed to hospitals in the nearby city of Bahawalpur and elsewhere in Rahim Yar Khan district, she said, adding that only 18 of the bodies were identifiable.
“Deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy… My condolences go to the victim’s families & prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured,” tweeted Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Sheikh Rashid has announced Rs.15 million as compensation
for each passenger killed in the incident while Rs500,000 for the
He said he would himself monitor the relief activities. The minster said Tableeghi Jamaat Ameer identified as Hussain, who had booked the two ill-fated coaches, remained safe in the incident.
He said Hussain has names of those who lost their lives in the incident. The minister conceded that it was “our negligence” that the passengers managed to carry the gas cylinder into the train
More information about the incident can be obtained through helpline number 0300-8060780 while an emergency center has been established at Karachi railway station which can be contacted through telephone number 091-99213506.