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Railway employees violate rules, carry kerosene drums on Khyber Mail

Reporting | - Posted: Sep 19, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Sep 19, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Stoves, oil canisters are prohibited on board

The employees of the Pakistan Railways have been accused of violating rules and risking passengers' lives after a video of two drums of kerosene oil being carried in two bogies of the Khyber Mail was shared on social media on Saturday.

People are prohibited from carrying cooking stoves, oil canisters and highly flammable items on trains.

The video was made by a passenger at the Khanpur Railway Station, a major stop for the Khyber Mail which runs from Karachi to Peshawar.

The authorities said that the two canisters were going to be dropped off at the Changa Manga and Multan.

Train travel is popular in Pakistan, especially among middle and lower income groups. The carriages are often overcrowded and many trains are in poor condition.

On October 31, 2019 74 people were killed after the Tezgam Express caught fire near Rahim Yar Khan. It was heading to Rawalpindi from Karachi and was near the Tanwari Railway Station when the fire erupted. More than 40 people were injured.

The Railways authorities, including Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed, had blamed passengers who had brought cylinders on the train. The passengers, all from the Tableeghi Jamaat, had brought gas cylinders and were cooking food when one exploded, causing the fire, authorities had said.

But a Railways report released on January 29 placed the blame on the Railway authorities, not the passengers. The dining car manager and waiters had set up a makeshift kitchen in bogies 11 and 12, said a report. That is where the fire broke out.

The situation was compounded due to the gas cylinders in the train but did not occur due to them, said the report. The cylinders exploded after the train caught fire, making it worse. The waiters and dining car manager used the makeshift kitchen to make tea and food for passengers.

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