The victims of the deadly Tezgam Express fire will be paid compensation by a private insurance company rather than the federal government, it was learnt on Friday.
At least 74 people were killed and several others sustained injuries after the Tezgam Express caught fire near Rahim Yar Khan early Thursday.
Rescue teams reached the site and pulled out the bodies and injured persons from three compartments of the ill-fated train.
On completion of the rescue operation, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed appeared on social media and announced Rs1 million as compensation for families of each deceased person and Rs500,000 for every injured person.
An investigation into the announcement of the federal minister has, however, revealed that this compensation won’t be paid by the federal government.
The Pakistan Railways had inked an agreement with an insurance company, Postal Insurance Company, during the tenure of former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. This agreement says that the insurance company would have to pay compensation to the victims of railway accidents.
The company has been charging every passenger Rs5 at the time of a ticket booking for the service. This charge has been part of the ticket price for the last five years.
If anyone dies during a rail accident, then the company will pay Rs1 million to the family of the deceased and Rs500,000 to the injured persons, as per this agreement.
Late Friday evening, the federal railways minister also confirmed in a briefing that the department’s insurance company would pay compensation to the victims of the Tezgam Express incident.
The federal minister maintained that Ministry of Railways can just pay Rs100,000 to the victims as per its set rules.