7 dead as Lahore-bound train catches fire in Khairpur

Published April 27, 2023
A coach of a Karachi Express train is burnt and blackened after it caught fire in the early hours of April 27. — Photo provided by Adnan Sheikh
A coach of a Karachi Express train is burnt and blackened after it caught fire in the early hours of April 27. — Photo provided by Adnan Sheikh

Seven people, including four children, died after a bogie of a Karachi Express train caught fire near Tando Masti Khan in Sindh’s Khairpur district during the early hours of Thursday, officials said.

Pakistan Railways (PR) District Coordination Officer Mohsin Siyal confirmed the number of casualties.

Police surgeon Dr Abu Talib also confirmed the death toll, adding that six of the bodies were “unidentifiable” and would be handed over to their families after conducting DNA tests. He said the bodies had been shifted to the Civil Hospital, Khairpur.

The cause of the fire has not yet been ascertained.

A press release issued by PR said that the train was headed from Karachi to Lahore when, at around 12:30am, the department received an alert that the air-conditioned business coach had caught fire.

The train was then stopped near the Tando Masti Khan station and the fire brigade was called, which arrived at around 1:50am, the PR statement said. It added that the fire was brought under control after 40 minutes.

The PR statement said that one of the victims was a 70-year-old woman who was gravely injured when she attempted to jump from the blazing carriage, adding that she later succumbed to her injuries.

The statement said that the affected carriage was separated from the train, which resumed its journey to Lahore at 6:45am.

The statement said that the Sukkur district commissioner, the district coordination officer and other railway officials were present at the site and were overseeing the situation.

Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, meanwhile, ordered an inquiry into the incident and constituted a team, headed by the federal government inspector of railways.

In October 2019, 73 people were killed and 40 injured after three bogies of a Tezgam train bound for Rawalpindi caught fire near Liaquatpur in Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan.

Then-railway minister Sheikh Rashid had said the fire was caused by a cylinder blast that occurred in the morning when some passengers were preparing their breakfast.

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