At least 73 people have died after a train travelling through Punjab province in Pakistan caught fire, trapping many on board.
The fire on the Karachi to Rawalpindi service, one of Pakistan’s busiest and most popular trains, started with the explosion of a cooking gas cylinder and quickly spread across at least three carriages.
Officials said the death toll was likely to rise further, with at least 40 more people injured and many in critical condition. Some bodies were so badly burned DNA analysis will be needed to identify the victims, officials said.
The train was approaching the town of Liaquatpur in Punjab when the fire broke out. Many were killed when they tried to jump off the burning, speeding train, officials were quoted in local media as saying.
As TV footage from the scene of the fire showed a huge blaze raging through the train as firefighters struggled to get it under control, Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan tweeted that he was “deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy” and had ordered an inquiry.