Pak train tragedy a painful incident - GulfToday

Pak train tragedy a painful incident

Painful incident

A fire burns a train carriage near the town of Rahim Yar Khan in the south of Punjab province, Pakistan. Reuters

It was an unfortunate and painful incident in which more than 70 people were burnt alive and several others injured when three bogies of a train caught fire near Liaquatpur Rahimyar Khan, Punjab province, Pakistan, on Thursday (“Fire on moving train kills 73 passengers in Pakistan,” Sept.31, Gulf Today).

There should be an independent inquiry to find out who is responsible for the deadly negligence.

A number of persons among those wounded were stated to be in critical conditions. Women and children are among those dead.

The dead and injured persons were shifted to the district headquarters hospital in Liaquatpur. Some of the wounded people were rushed to the Bahawal Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur.

The train was going to Rawalpindi from Karachi. It was the worst disaster on Pakistan’s accident-plagued railway system in nearly 15 years.

As per media reports, survivors recounted horrific scenes of fellow passengers screaming as they jumped through the windows and off the train, flames billowing from the carriages. “We could hear people crying and screaming for help,” said Chaudhry Shujaat who had boarded the train just a few hours earlier with his wife and two children. “I thought we would die. The next car was on fire. We felt so helpless.”

The fire was caused by a cylinder blast that occurred in the morning when passengers were preparing their breakfast, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid said and added that they belonged to the “Tableeghi Jamaat” (religious preachers’ party), who were going to Raiwand near Lahore. Many people saved their lives by jumping off the train, the minister said. However, a number of eyewitnesses disputed the minister’s claim.

I am shocked why Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid is still holding on to his position as minister of railways. After the unfortunate incident he should have submitted his resignation.  

Imran Khan, as Prime Minister of Pakistan, has a responsibility to take action and remove the railway minister, so that an independent inquiry could be conducted.

Azim Khan
By e-mail

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