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2019 Tezgam train fire

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2019 Pakistan train fire
Map showing route of Tezgam express
Route of the Tezgam express shown in blue.
2019 Tezgam train fire is located in Pakistan
2019 Tezgam train fire
Location of the fire on map of Pakistan
Details
Date31 October 2019 (2019-10-31)
06:18 am PST (01:18 UTC)
Locationnear Liaquat Pur railway station
Coordinates29°00′26″N 70°59′20″E / 29.00722°N 70.98889°E / 29.00722; 70.98889Coordinates: 29°00′26″N 70°59′20″E / 29.00722°N 70.98889°E / 29.00722; 70.98889
CountryPakistan
LineKarachi–Peshawar Line
OperatorPakistan Railways
ServiceTezgam
Incident typeTrain fire
Statistics
Trains1
Passengers933
Deaths75[1][2]
Injuries43
DamageThree carriages destroyed

On 31 October 2019, Pakistan Railways' Tezgam passenger train caught fire while traveling from Karachi to Rawalpindi, resulting in at least 75 passenger deaths. The train accident was the deadliest in Pakistan since 2005, when the Ghotki rail crash killed more than 100 people.[3][4] Preliminary evidence suggested the explosion of a portable stove[5] occurred because some passengers illegally cooked food aboard the train. Such use of gas stoves is common on Pakistan's railways; train authorities often turn a blind eye to the dangerous practice.[6]

Accident

The accident occurred at 6:18 a.m. PST[7] (01:18 UTC) on Main Line 1 in Liaquatpur tehsil, Rahim Yar Khan district, Punjab aboard the Tezgam express passenger train. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, the Pakistani Federal Minister for Railways, reported that two gas stoves exploded, setting the train on fire. Other reports, though, along with survivors' testimonies, suggested an electrical problem was the cause of the fire.[8] The train was carrying 933 people, 207 of whom were in the three carriages that were gutted.[9][6]

Ten fire engines were dispatched to the scene of the fire [9] and Pakistani Army troops assisted in the rescue operation. The most severely injured were taken to Bahawal Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur and Nishtar Hospital in Multan.[2][9][10] Those with less severe wounds were treated at DHQ hospital in Liaquatpur and Shaikh Zayed Hospital in Rahim Yar Khan.[11][9] According to witnesses, the train's fire took 20 minutes to put out.[12] Another train was dispatched to rescue stranded passengers and take them to Rawalpindi.[13]

Victims

Some of the 75 victims died[14] jumping from the moving train,[4] which reportedly did not stop until about 20 minutes after the fire broke out,[15] despite the communication cord being pulled.[16] Fifty-seven of the dead were burned beyond recognition; DNA tests were needed for identification.[17] At least 43 passengers were injured, 11 critically.[13]

Reaction

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, ordered an immediate inquiry into the accident.[6] Sheikh Rasheed, the railways minister, announced a 1.5 million compensation fund for each of the families of the dead, as well as ₨0.5 million for those injured.[1][18] Six railway officers were suspended after the accident.[19][18]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Death toll from Tezgam train fire climbs to 74". Geo News. 31 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Tezgam fire death toll reaches 75". The Express Tribune. 3 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Here are major train accidents in Pakistan since 1953". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b Birsel, Robert. "Fire engulfs Pakistani train, kills at least 65". Reuters. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Initial inquiry says gas cylinders blast caused Tezgam fire". Dawn. 2 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Pakistan train fire: Karachi to Rawalpindi service blaze kills dozens". BBC News Online. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Tezgam train inferno death toll reaches 74". The Express Tribune. 31 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Pakistan train fire: Are accidents at a record high?". BBC News online. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d Fahad, Muhammad. "At least 71 killed in Tezgam Train fires". The Financial Daily. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Pakistan train fire kills 65 as gas stove explodes". Independent Television News. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  11. ^ "73 killed in Tezgam train inferno near Rahim Yar Khan: officials". Dawn. 31 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Survivors say burning train took 20 minutes to stop, 74 dead | CTV News". www.ctvnews.ca. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  13. ^ a b "At least 71 dead after cooking stoves explode on Pakistan train". Sky News. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  14. ^ "75 killed in Tezgam train inferno". Financial Daily. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  15. ^ Hewitt, Sam. "At least 73 dead in Pakistan train fire, police say". The Railway Hub. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  16. ^ Marris, Sharon. "Pakistan train fire: Investigators to look at braking system". Sky News. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Family of Pakistan train fire victims struggle to identify loved ones". Reuters. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  18. ^ a b https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/fire-on-moving-train-kills-65-passengers-in-central-pakistan/articleshow/71833245.cms. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Tezgam fire incident: Six railway officers suspended". Geo News. Retrieved 5 November 2019.