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Pakistan train fire kills dozens

Nearly eighty passengers have been killed on a train that caught fire as it travelled from the Pakistani city of Karachi to Rawalpindi.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Thursday that the fire was caused by the explosion of a gas cylinder being used by passengers cooking breakfast.

The blaze is thought to have spread to at least three carriages.

According to officials cited in local media, many of the victims died as they tried to jump off the burning train.

Another forty people have been injured, with officials saying the number of dead may still rise.

The accident occurred near the town of Rahim Yar Khan in the south of Punjab province. Many passengers were pilgrims heading to Raiwind near Lahore for one of Pakistan’s largest annual religious congregations.

The BBC reported the District deputy commissioner Jamil Ahmed as saying some of the victims were so badly burnt they could not be identified, and they would need to use DNA to find out who had died.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet that he was “deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy”, adding that he had ordered an “immediate inquiry”.

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