65 dead over 40 injured in macabre Tezgam train tragedy

KARACHI: 65 people were killed and over 40 injured in one of the worst train tragedies in Pakistan. Tezgam train that was near Liaquatapur city on its way to Rawalpindi from Karachi caught fire due to a cylinder blast.

The cylinder blast happened inside the train while the passengers were preparing their breakfast. Although many saved their lives jumping off the train, there were several women and children who were victims of this tragedy.

In a video message, Rashid announced that a compensation of Rs1.5 million will be paid to the heirs of the dead while Rs500,000 will be provided to those who are injured.

He said that two of the coaches that caught fire were booked under the name of tableeghi jammat’s emir Hussain and added that the ministry was preparing a list of the victims. Rashid said that it was a “failure” on the part of the Railways authorities since they failed to carry out a thorough checking of the passengers’ luggage.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident. In his official social media account, he has expressed his sadness and offered his condolences to the victims and prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured.

This is the third major train accident that has taken place in the country over the past five months. In July, a train collision in Sadiqabad between passenger train Akbar Express and a freight train had killed more than 20 and injured more than 80 people.

In June, three people were killed when a passenger train, the Jinnah Express, hit a freight car near Hyderabad. At the time, Rashid had accepted responsibility and sought an apology from the nation.

The victims of this tragedy are undergoing treatment at the DHQ Hospital in Liaquatpur, while some have been shifted to Bahawal Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur. Many are said to be extremely critical.

Investigations are ongoing and the authorities will look into the security lapse of how a passenger could have carried a gas cylinder inside the train unnoticed and overlooked by security.

(Photo and inputs from DAWN)