2019 Tezgam train fire

Last updated

2019 Pakistan train fire
Tezgam Route Map.png
Route of the Tezgam express shown in blue.
Pakistan location map.svg
Red pog.svg
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
Coordinates 29°00′26″N70°59′20″E / 29.00722°N 70.98889°E / 29.00722; 70.98889 Coordinates: 29°00′26″N70°59′20″E / 29.00722°N 70.98889°E / 29.00722; 70.98889
CountryPakistan
Line Karachi–Peshawar Line
Operator Pakistan Railways
Service Tezgam
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]

Pakistan Railways Government Railway Transport Company

Pakistan Railways is the national, state-owned railway company of Pakistan. Founded in 1861 and headquartered in Lahore, it owns 4,800 miles (7,791 km) of track across Pakistan from Torkham to Karachi and operates freight and passenger service. Pakistan Railways was also known as the Pakistan Western Railway from 1947 to 1974.

Tezgam

Tezgam is a daily express train service between Karachi and Rawalpindi in Pakistan. Tezgam means "fast runner". It is one of the oldest and popular trains of Pakistan. It was started in 1950s between Karachi and Peshawar. Later its route was shortened to Karachi and Rawalpindi.

Karachi Megacity in Sindh

Karachi (Urdu: کراچی‎; ALA-LC: Karācī, IPA: [kəˈraːtʃi]; is the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh. It is the most populous city in Pakistan, and fifth-most-populous city proper in the world. Ranked as a beta-global city, the city is Pakistan's premier industrial and financial centre. It is the cultural, economic, philanthropic, educational, and political hub of the country, and Pakistan's most cosmopolitan city. Situated on the Arabian Sea, Karachi serves as a transport hub, and is home to Pakistan's two largest seaports, the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, as well as Pakistan's busiest airport, Jinnah International Airport.

Contents

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]

Pakistan Standard Time time zone

Pakistan Standard Time is UTC+05:00 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. The time zone is in use during standard time in Asia.

Liaquatpur Tehsil Tehsil in Punjab, Pakistan

Liaquatpur is a tehsil located in Rahimyar Khan District, Punjab, Pakistan. Its capital is Liaquatpur. It is administratively subdivided into 25 Union Councils.

Rahim Yar Khan District District in Punjab, Pakistan

Rahim Yar Khan District is a district in the Punjab province of Pakistan and the city of Rahim Yar Khan is its capital. The city itself is administratively subdivided into nine Union Councils.

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]

Fire engine Emergency vehicle intended to put out fires

A fire engine is a vehicle designed primarily for firefighting operations. The terms "fire engine" and "fire truck" are often used interchangeably; however in some fire departments/fire services they refer to separate and specific types of vehicle.

Bahawalpur City District / Divisional Capital in Punjab, Pakistan

Bahawalpur (بہاولپور), is a city located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Bahawalpur is the 11th largest city in Pakistan with an estimated population of 798,509.

Nishtar Hospital Hospital in Punjab, Pakistan

Nishtar Hospital is a teaching hospital of Nishtar Medical University, located in Multan, Pakistan. It is a tertiary care hospital, serving a large population of South Punjab, adjoining areas of Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

Victims

Some of the 75 victims died [14] jumping from the moving train, [4] which reportedly did not stop until about 20 minutes after the fire broke out, [15] despite the communication cord being pulled. [16] Fifty-seven of the dead were burned beyond recognition; DNA tests were needed for identification. [17] At least 43 passengers were injured, 11 critically. [13]

DNA profiling small set of DNA variations that is very likely to be different in all unrelated individuals

DNA profiling is the process of determining an individual's DNA characteristics, which are as unique as fingerprints. DNA analysis intended to identify a species, rather than an individual, is called DNA barcoding.

Reaction

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, ordered an immediate inquiry into the accident. [6] Sheikh Rasheed, the railways minister, announced a 1.5 million compensation fund for each of the families of the dead, as well as ₨0.5 million for those injured. [1] [18] Six railway officers were suspended after the accident. [19] [18]

Imran Khan incumbent Prime Minister of Pakistan; former professional cricketer

Imran Ahmed Khan is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Pakistan and the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Before entering politics, Khan was an international cricketer and captain of the Pakistan national cricket team, which he led to victory in the 1992 Cricket World Cup.

Pakistani rupee currency

The Pakistani Rupee (Urdu: روپیه‎ / ALA-LC: Rūpiyah; sign: ; code: abbreviated as PKR, is the official currency of Pakistan since 1948.

See also

The El Ayyat train disaster happened at 02:00 on the morning of 20 February 2002 in an eleven-carriage passenger train travelling from Cairo to Luxor. A cooking gas cylinder exploded in the fifth carriage, creating a fire which engulfed seven third-class carriages, reducing them almost to cinders. The initial number of dead given by officials at the time was 383, all Egyptians. However, considering that seven carriages were burnt to the ground, and each carriage was packed with at least double the maximum carrying capacity of 150, this number may be greatly underestimated. The dubious nature of the given death toll lies with the absence of a full passenger list; accounting for those missing was almost impossible at the time. In addition, the fire was so intense and the carriages so badly burned that many corpses had been reduced to ash. As there was no means of communication between the driver and the rear carriages, the driver did not know of the fire until about two hours after it had begun, resulting in many people attempting to flee from the overcrowded carriages, jumping to their death. Some important Egyptians have commented that the official number of 383 dead is grossly inaccurate and was an attempt to lessen the damage done to the reputation of the government.

Related Research Articles

The Ghotki rail crash occurred on 13 July 2005, at around 3:40am local time near Ghotki, Pakistan. No. 24 Dn train stopped at the station of Sarhad was hit from behind by the following Karachi Express train, causing several cars to derail; these were then hit by a third train running in the opposite direction (Tezgam). A total of seventeen train cars, carrying over 3000 passengers, were wrecked. Estimates of the death toll ranged as high as over 130. It was the worst train accident in Pakistan in fifteen years.

2012 Rahim Yar Khan bombing

The 2012 Rahim Yar Khan bombing occurred on 15 January 2012, when a remote-controlled bomb exploded during a Shi'a Muslim procession in the city of Rahim Yar Khan in the southern region of Punjab province, Pakistan. Eighteen people were killed and dozens other injured, some critically, as a result of the attack.

<i>Khyber Mail</i> (passenger train)

Khyber Mail is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways between Karachi and Peshawar. The trip takes approximately 32 hours and 10 minutes to cover a published distance of 1,721 kilometres (1,069 mi), traveling along the entire stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line. The train named after the famous Khyber Pass, located in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Khyber Mail is one of Pakistan's oldest and most prestigious passenger trains that has been continuously running since 1947.

Shalimar Express (Pakistan)

Shalimar Express is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways and Air Rail Services between Karachi and Lahore. The trip takes approximately 19 hours and 10 minutes to cover a published distance of 1,286 kilometres (799 mi), traveling along a stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line, Shahdara Bagh–Chak Amru Branch Line and Wazirabad–Narowal Branch Line. The train named after the historic Shalimar Gardens in Lahore.

<i>Jaffar Express</i>

Jaffar Express is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways between Quetta and Peshawar. The trip takes approximately 34 hours, 10 minutes to cover a published distance of 1,632 kilometres (1,014 mi), traveling along a stretch of the Rohri–Chaman Railway Line and Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line.

<i>Pakistan Express</i>

Pakistan Express is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways between Karachi and Rawalpindi. The trip takes approximately 25 hours and 50 minutes to cover a published distance of 1,315 kilometres (817 mi), traveling along a stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line and Khanewal–Wazirabad Branch Line.

<i>Awam Express</i>

Awam Express is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways between Karachi and Peshawar. It is one of the longest continuous running passenger trains in Pakistan. The trip takes approximately 33 hours and 30 minutes to cover a published distance of 1,721 kilometres (1,069 mi), traveling along the entire stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line.

<i>Hazara Express</i>

Hazara Express is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways between Karachi and Havelian in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The trip takes approximately 33 hours to cover a published distance of 1,594 kilometres (990 mi), traveling along a stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line, Khanewal–Wazirabad Branch Line, Shorkot–Lalamusa Branch Line and Taxila–Khunjerab Railway Line.

<i>Bahauddin Zakaria Express</i>

Bahauddin Zakaria Express is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways between Karachi and Multan. The trip takes approximately 16 hours and 5 minutes to cover a published distance of 929 kilometres (577 mi), traveling along a stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line. The train named after Abu Muhammad Bahauddin Zakariya, a famous Sufi saint of the Suhrawardiyya order who lived in Multan between 1171-1262.

Rohri Junction railway station

Rohri Junction railway station is located in Rohri, Sukkur district of Sindh province, Pakistan. It is a major railway station on the Pakistan Railways network, serving as the junction between the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line and Rohri-Chaman Railway Line. The station serves as a stop of all express trains. The station is staffed and has advance and current reservation offices. Food stalls are also located on its platforms. The land of the station is taken on lease for 100 years from Nawab Mir Yakoob Ali Shah.

<i>Akbar Express</i>

The Akbar Express is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways between Quetta and Lahore. The trip takes approximately 23 hours and 30 minutes to cover a published distance of 1,225 kilometres (761 mi), traveling along the Rohri–Chaman Railway Line, Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line, Khanewal–Wazirabad Branch Line and the Shahdara Bagh–Sangla Hill Branch Line.

Fareed Express is a passenger train operated daily by Pakistan Railways between Karachi and Lahore. The trip takes approximately 26 hours and 45 minutes to cover a published distance of 1,214 kilometres (754 mi), traveling along a stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line and Lodhran–Raiwind Branch Line. The train named after Baba Fareed Shakar Ganj, a famous Sufi saint and Punjabi poet who lived in Pakpattan between 1173–1266.

Nawabshah railway station is located in the city of Nawabshah on main railway line in Pakistan. It is a major railway station of Pakistan Railways and was the junction of Nawabshah-Tando Adam loop and Nawabshah-Mirpur Khas meter gauge railway lines. It is the stop of almost all Express trains. The station is staffed and has advance and current reservation offices. Food stalls are also located on it platforms.

Muniba Mazari Pakistani artist, motivational speaker and model

Muniba Mazari is a Pakistani activist, anchor artist, model, singer and motivational speaker. She is also Pakistan’s first wheelchair bound model and anchor.

This article is an incomplete outline of terrorist incidents in Pakistan in 2019 in chronological order.

Sadiqabad Railway Accident

The Sadiqabad Railway Accident occurred on 11 July 2019 after the Quetta-bound Akbar Express collided with a cargo rake at the Walhar Railway Station, due to improper handling of the track switching mechanism. The accident took place around 4:30 am, about 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of the district headquarters of Rahim Yar Khan and the train engines were completely destroyed.

References

  1. 1 2 "Death toll from Tezgam train fire climbs to 74". Geo News. 31 October 2019.
  2. 1 2 "Tezgam fire death toll reaches 75". The Express Tribune. 3 November 2019.
  3. "Here are major train accidents in Pakistan since 1953". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  4. 1 2 Birsel, Robert. "Fire engulfs Pakistani train, kills at least 65". Reuters. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  5. "Initial inquiry says gas cylinders blast caused Tezgam fire". Dawn. 2 November 2019.
  6. 1 2 3 "Pakistan train fire: Karachi to Rawalpindi service blaze kills dozens". BBC News Online. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  7. "Tezgam train inferno death toll reaches 74". The Express Tribune. 31 October 2019.
  8. "Pakistan train fire: Are accidents at a record high?". BBC News online. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Fahad, Muhammad. "At least 71 killed in Tezgam Train fires". The Financial Daily. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  10. "Pakistan train fire kills 65 as gas stove explodes". Independent Television News. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  11. "73 killed in Tezgam train inferno near Rahim Yar Khan: officials". Dawn. 31 October 2019.
  12. "Survivors say burning train took 20 minutes to stop, 74 dead | CTV News". www.ctvnews.ca. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  13. 1 2 "At least 71 dead after cooking stoves explode on Pakistan train". Sky News. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  14. "75 killed in Tezgam train inferno". Financial Daily. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  15. Hewitt, Sam. "At least 73 dead in Pakistan train fire, police say". The Railway Hub. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  16. Marris, Sharon. "Pakistan train fire: Investigators to look at braking system". Sky News. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  17. "Family of Pakistan train fire victims struggle to identify loved ones". Reuters. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  18. 1 2 https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/fire-on-moving-train-kills-65-passengers-in-central-pakistan/articleshow/71833245.cms.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. "Tezgam fire incident: Six railway officers suspended". Geo News. Retrieved 5 November 2019.