Tragedy struck in Sindh’s Khairpur district on Thursday when a bogie of the Karachi Express train caught fire, killing seven people, including four children. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
According to Pakistan Railways (PR) District Coordination Officer Mohsin Siyal, the air-conditioned business coach of Karachi Express caught fire during the early hours of the morning. The train was headed from Karachi to Lahore and had been stopped near the Tando Masti Khan station when the fire brigade arrived to control the blaze.
Police surgeon Dr Abu Talib confirmed the death toll, stating that six of the bodies were “unidentifiable” and would be handed over to their families after DNA tests. The bodies have been shifted to the Civil Hospital in Khairpur.
A statement issued by PR stated that one of the victims was a 70-year-old woman who sustained severe injuries while attempting to jump from the burning carriage. She later succumbed to her injuries.
The affected carriage was separated from the train, which resumed its journey to Lahore at 6:45am. The Sukkur district commissioner, the district coordination officer, and other railway officials were present at the site and overseeing the situation.
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Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has ordered an inquiry into the incident and constituted a team headed by the federal government inspector of railways.
The incident is reminiscent of a tragic incident in October 2019, when three bogies of a Tezgam train bound for Rawalpindi caught fire near Liaquatpur in Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan, killing 73 people and injuring 40 others. The fire was caused by a cylinder blast that occurred in the morning when some passengers were preparing breakfast, according to then-railway minister Sheikh Rashid.