At least 71 dead after gas stove causes blaze on moving train in Pakistan

At least 71 people have been killed after a gas stove sparked a huge fire on a train in Pakistan.

The blaze, believed to have been caused by a stove used for cooking, swept through the train carriages as it approached the town of Liaquatpur in Punjab.

Survivors have spoken of horrific scenes including fellow passengers jumping to their deaths from the train as flames filled the carriages.

Officials said the fire broke out when a gas stove exploded as breakfast was being prepared on board.

The huge fire on the train in Pakistan has left 65 people dead (Picture: REUTERS/Asghar Bhawalpuri/via REUTERS TV)

Cooking oil carried on the train by Islamic missionaries known as Tableeqi-e-Jamaat also caught fire, contributing to the blaze, said railways minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

He said poor passengers often bring their own small gas stoves on the trains to cook their meals, despite rules to the contrary.

READ MORE

William: In UK’s best interests for Pakistan to succeed

Extinction Rebellion protester dragged off Tube train by his feet by angry commuters

The train was on its way from the southern port city of Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province, to the city of Rawalpindi when the blaze erupted.

People from nearby villages rushed to the train, carrying buckets of water and shovels to help douse the flames, to no avail.

The blaze is believed to have been started by a gas stove used for cooking (Picture: REUTERS/Asghar Bhawalpuri/via REUTERS TV)

Chaudhry Shujaat, who was travelling on board the train with his wife and two children when the tragedy unfolded, said: “We could hear people crying and screaming for help. I thought we would die. The next car was on fire. We felt so helpless.”

Ghulam Abbas, who got on the train in the town of Nawabshah in neighbouring Sindh province with his wife and two children, described seeing fellow passengers in his carriage jumping off the train.

“We learned after that most of them had died,” he said.

Some passengers jumped from the train to their deaths, officials said (Picture: REUTERS/Asghar Bhawalpuri/via REUTERS TV)

Prime minister Imran Khan has ordered an urgent investigation into the incident and has expressed deep sorrow over the “terrible tragedy”.

As the investigation got underway, rescue workers and inspectors sifted through the wreckage, looking for survivors.

Officials said they were still trying to identify the victims.

---Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK---