The string of fatal accidents which have hit Pakistan's transport system in recent months show no signs of stopping.
Islamabad, Nov 7: The string of fatal accidents which have hit Pakistan's transport system in recent months show no signs of stopping.
At least 13 people were killed and three others on Thursday when a passenger coach collided with a motorcycle-rickshaw in Pakistan's Sindh province.
The incident took place near Saeed Abad Area of Matiari district, reports The News Internatioal.
Identities of the dead and the injured were not immediately known.
Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani has expressed grief over the incident and assured that an investigation would be carried out into the accident.
On October 31, at least 73 people were killed and several others injured when a train from Karachi to Rawalpindi caught fire in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province, Geo News reported.
The incident happened when a gas cylinder being carried by a passenger exploded in the passenger train near the city area of Liaquatpur, a Pakistan Railways official said.
The injured have been shifted to DHQ Liaquatpur and Bahawalpur, said Ameer Taimoor Khan, DPO Rahim Yar Khan.
As per Geo News sources, 10 of the dead bodies have been identified. Whereas, identity of the other deceased persons is yet to be ascertained.
Confirming the death toll, Baqir Hussain, Head of the district rescue service said the dead bodies will be identified through DNA.
According to reports, the passengers were cooking breakfast when the blast occurred. Two adjoining coaches were engulfed in the raging fire.
The fire destroyed three of the train carriages, including two economy class carriages and one business class.
The train, Tezgam Express, was on its way to Lahore from Karachi when the fire broke out, destroying three bogies at Liaquatpur near Rahim Yar Khan, some 400 kilometres from Lahore.
Railway minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that most of the victims belonged to the Tableeghi Jamaat (Islamic preachers) who were going to Lahore to attend a major annual congregation at Raiwind.
The railways minister said gas stoves carried by some passengers blew up when they were preparing breakfast on the speeding train in violation of rules.
"Some of the passengers started making breakfast on small gas cylinders they brought with them when they exploded and the fire engulfed the three coaches of the train," he said.
"Two cooking stoves blew up. They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire."
"Most deaths occurred from people jumping off the train," he added.
He said the toll could rise further as more than 40 passengers have suffered severe burn injuries.
Rasheed added the fire had been extinguished and cooling efforts were underway.
A rescue operation is underway and army helicopters are helping to shift the injured to hospitals, according to a statement by the military.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his grief over the incident and directed authorities to provide the best medical treatment to the injured.
The authorities said they were still trying to identify the victims and that the lists of fatalities and those injured were not ready yet.
People sneaking stoves onto trains in order to prepare meals on long journeys is a common problem, Baqir Husain, the head of the district rescue service, said.
Pakistan’s colonial-era railway network has fallen into disrepair in recent decades due to chronic under-investment and poor maintenance.
This is the second major train accident in Pakistan this year. In July, 24 people were killed, when the Akbar Bugti Express travelling from Lahore to Quetta collided with a stationary freight train at the Walhar Railway Station in Sadiqabad Tehsil of Punjab province.
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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