(Dunya News) -On Thursday morning (October 31), the lives of passengers traveling in an ill-fated Tezgam Express turned upside down when the train caught fire due to explosion in gas canisters purportedly used by Tableeghi Jamaat preachers for breskfast cooking near Talwari Station in Liaquatpur area.
The mishap has claimed lives of at least 73 people while over 40 have sustained severe burns.
In an exclusive footage of inside condition of the train recorded by Dunya News reporter Wasim Nasir, it can be seen that the inferno has completely engulfed three bogies (one business class and two economy class) of the Tezgam Express.
The video shows that the electricity control system and interior of the train have been damaged while the blaze has also caused loss of millions of rupees to the Pakistan Railways ministry.
As per the reporter, the affected part of the express has been detached by the rest of the train to reopen the track.
Emergency has been declared in all hospitals of the district whereas wounded have also been rushed to hospitals in the nearby city of Bahawalpur and elsewhere in Rahim Yar Khan by Pakistan Army helicopter.
In a statement, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has announced to give Rs1.5 million to the deceased of the mishap while Rs0.5 million will be handed over to the injured as compensation money.
He said that the fire was erupted in train’s economy class by a cylinder blast that occurred in the morning when passengers belonging to a Tableeghi Jamaat were preparing their breakfast. Many people saved their lives by jumping off the train, he added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has expressed deep sorrow with the grief-stricken families and directed authorities to provide best possible medical care to the injured persons. The premier has also ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident that has shocked the entire country.
Pakistan’s colonial-era railway network has fallen into disrepair in recent decades due to chronic under-investment and poor maintenance. Accidents often happen at unmanned crossings, which frequently lack barriers and sometimes signals.