2019 Tezgam train fire

2019 Pakistan train fire
Map showing route of Tezgam express
Route of the Tezgam express shown in blue.
2019 Tezgam train fire is located in Pakistan
2019 Tezgam train fire
Location of the fire on map of Pakistan
Details
Date31 October 2019 (2019-10-31)
06:18 am PST (01:18 UTC)
Locationnear Liaquat Pur railway station
Coordinates29°00′26″N 70°59′20″E / 29°00′26″N 70°59′20″E / 29.00722; 70.98889
CountryPakistan
LineKarachi–Peshawar Line
OperatorPakistan Railways
ServiceTezgam
Incident typeTrain fire
Statistics
Trains1
Passengers933
Deaths75[1][2]
Injuries43
DamageThree carriages destroyed

On 31 October 2019, Pakistan Railways' Tezgam passenger train caught fire while traveling from Karachi to Rawalpindi, resulting in at least 75 passenger deaths. The train accident was the deadliest in Pakistan since 2005, when the Ghotki rail crash killed more than 100 people.[3][4] Preliminary evidence suggested the explosion of a portable stove[5] occurred because some passengers illegally cooked food aboard the train. Such use of gas stoves is common on Pakistan's railways; train authorities often turn a blind eye to the dangerous practice.[6]

Accident

The accident occurred at 6:18 a.m. PST[7] (01:18 UTC) on Main Line 1 in Liaquatpur tehsil, Rahim Yar Khan district, Punjab aboard the Tezgam express passenger train. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, the Pakistani Federal Minister for Railways, reported that two gas stoves exploded, setting the train on fire. Other reports, though, along with survivors' testimonies, suggested an electrical problem was the cause of the fire.[8] The train was carrying 933 people, 207 of whom were in the three carriages that were gutted.[9][6]

Ten fire engines were dispatched to the scene of the fire [9] and Pakistani Army troops assisted in the rescue operation. The most severely injured were taken to Bahawal Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur and Nishtar Hospital in Multan.[2][9][10] Those with less severe wounds were treated at DHQ hospital in Liaquatpur and Shaikh Zayed Hospital in Rahim Yar Khan.[11][9] According to witnesses, the train's fire took 20 minutes to put out.[12] Another train was dispatched to rescue stranded passengers and take them to Rawalpindi.[13]

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