Gas Stove Explosion on Train Kills Over in 70 in Pakistan

At least 70 people have been killed after gas cooking stoves exploded and set fire to a crowded train in Pakistan.

More than 30 people were wounded, some critically, in the blaze which started when two gas stoves being used by poorer passengers to cook breakfast on Thursday morning blew up.

The fire, which was fuelled by cooking oil the passengers were carrying, engulfed three carriages of the train, which was carrying people from Karachi to a religious conference in Rawalpindi.

As smoke and flames tore through the train, desperate passengers threw themselves out of the moving carriages – many of them jumping to their deaths.

Children were among those killed in the blaze, according to local reports.

Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told Geo TV: ‘Two cooking stoves blew up. They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire

‘Most deaths occurred from people jumping off the train.’

Mr Ahmed said that poor passengers often bring their own small gas stoves on the trains to cook their meals, in violation of train safety rules.

As the fire took hold, the three burning economy class cars were disconnected from the rest of the train to prevent it spreading.

Radio Pakistan reported that there were 207 passengers on the economy class section of the train when the fire started.

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