Train Fire in Pakistan claimed 73 lives, and 48 others injured after a fire engulfed a train travelling through central Pakistan, completely destroying at least three coaches. Death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured people have critical burn injuries.
Railway minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that most of the victims belonged to the Tableeghi Jamaat (Islamic preachers) who were going to Lahore to attend a major annual congregation at Raiwind.
The accident took place near the town of Liaquatpur, about 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of the city of Multan on Thursday morning.
Government official version is that some of the passengers were using portable gas powered stove to prepare the breakfast and the train got fire.
Injured were allowed to speak to the media. Only if they survive their wounds, they will be first briefed by Pakistan Army of what to say to the press.
Seven of the wounded were airlifted to the city of Multan, roughly 150km north, for treatment at specialised burns unit there, he said. Many of the injured were in critical condition.
The train was carrying passengers from the southern city of Karachi to Rawalpindi.
Railway minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said, “The injured have been taken to the hospital, but unfortunately there is no nearby hospital [with a burn unit] so we are trying to get them by helicopter to Multan.”
The two affected coaches were “overcrowded”, he added. Each coach typically holds about 70 passengers.
As per Railway minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, “The fire occurred when passengers used a portable gas-powered stove to prepare breakfast.”
“One of the stoves exploded, causing the fire and the other one exploded with it,” said Faisal Niaz, an official with the minister’s office.
Ahmed said firefighters had completed their work at the site of the blaze.
“Rail service has been resumed on the tracks and rescue work is completed,” he said. “The fire is under control.”
However as per the eye witnesses, the 3 compartments were over crowded. There was no space even to stand and the theory of using gas powered stove to prepare breakfast is absurd. As per them, the fire started from the AC (Air Condition) Coach due to short circuit. From that coach it spread to the coaches behind it that carried the general passengers.
As per people, they were going to attend Freedom (Azadi) March of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and this was a sabotage done by Pakistan Government officials with connivance of Railway staff to prevent people to attend the Freedom (Azadi) March.
Amna Zafar with Twitter handle @kr8nkaos tweeted, “Reason why the train caught fire was allegedly due to a short circuit. And we from day one know how competent people within railways have described the gov minister placed on them. The blame of this and so many railway accidents before is on the gov.”
Twitter handle @developmentpk tweeted, “According to
Short circuit in coaches no one from the staff bothered an eye
Emergency brake Chains & levers weren’t working
No fire extinguisher equipment on train
It’s a cylinder blast passengers were using for Cooking”
Death toll reached 70″
Tarek Fatah with Twitter handle @TarekFatah tweeted, “Pakistan train fire. Blaze kills dozens headed from Karachi to attend an opposition rally #AzadiMarch2019 in Islamabad to demand PM #ImranKhan step down.”
Pakistan based economist Atif Mian lambasted the government of Pakistan and said, “ The broader issue is the appointment of utterly incompetent people in extremely important positions.”
We covered this in details in our previous article “Balochistan Engineers, Medical Students, Pharmacists, Mine Workers, Teachers On Strike” how in Pakistan even the technical posts are filled by appointing non-technical people who are close either to Pakistan Army officers or very close to corrupt politicians.
Faiz Mohmood with Twitter ID @Faiz786Mahmood tweeted, “Sheikh is saying its tragedy. IK (Imran Khan) is saying tragedy. We are stupid Sheikh is not stepping down. 81st accident in sheikh tenure. So As Balour said, “I was not driving the train why should I resign.” Same is the position of Sheikh. It’s short circuit by eyewitness”
It reminds us of the Godhra Train attack where Pakistan orchestrated and burned alive 59 Pilgrims in India on the morning of 27 February 2002, in a fire inside the Sabarmati Express train near the Godhra railway station in the Indian state of Gujarat. The victims were Hindu pilgrims who were returning from the city of Ayodhya (Hindu Religious Place) after a religious ceremony. Train was set on fire by a mob of 1,000 to 2,000 Muslim men at behest of FATF Grey Listed Pakistan to deflect the attention from Pakistan Border where India had started moving its troops in retaliation of 26/11 Pakistani sponsored Terrorist attacks on Indian Parliament.
Looking at the current situation in Pakistan, with lakhs of people from every part of Pakistan going to attend the Freedom March organized by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, it is very likely that this Train Fire was a sabotage to discourage people from attending the Freedom (Azadi) March to Islamabad. FATF Grey Listed Pakistan has a history of pulling these kind of Genocide of the Civilians.
Whatever was the cause, whether a deliberate sabotage to prevent people from attending the Freedom (Azadi) March led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman that has threatened to topple the present government or whether it was any other reason, the truth will never come out and the Pakistan Government and Pakistan Media will stick to their official statement as despite several train accidents in the last 1 year, Railway minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has not taken any moral responsibility and resigned from their position.
As long as Pakistan will continue to be run by incompetent people, it will be the civilians who will have to suffer.
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