MULTAN: On behalf of the government, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad on Thursday announced 1.5 million rupees compensation for families of each person who died and 0.5 million rupees for each of the injured in horrific train fire incident in Rahim Yar Khan.
Contrary to statements of eyewitnesses, the railways minister claimed that the fire broke out after gas cylinder, of a group of people who were preparing breakfast, exploded. While, the eyewitnesses have said that the fire sparked because of short-circuit in wires of the train. They said the cylinder was still intact even after the incident had happened.
In yet another claim, Sheikh Rasheed has said that least number of incidents had taken place during his tenure. While, according to a report, in just one year since he took charge of the railways ministry’s office more than 80 train accidents had taken place in the country.
On demand of the opposition for resignation, he said resignation was not a problem. Everybody gather on Sunday, he would reply on the opposition’s demand, he added.
Around 75 people have died and more than 20 others have been injured after a blaze swept through three railcars of a passenger train.
Witnesses said they could hear trapped passengers crying and screaming. The railways minister has claimed that most of the deaths took place after passengers jumped off the train in a bid to escape the fire.
He said because of quick response by Pakistan Army, swift rescue service could be provided otherwise the number of casualties could be more.
Sheikh Rasheed said Pakistan was the only country in the world where profit was being reaped through passengers, while in other countries the railways earned revenue through freight trains.