RAHIM YAR KHAN    -   Forensic experts in Lahore was on Saturday supplied with DNA samples of 57 unidentified victims - who had lost their lives in tragic train fire incident near Rahim Yar Khan on Thursday - for their identifications, the process which hospital officials claim would take ten days.

Moreover, two injured persons have been discharged from the Sheikh Zayed Hospital after their rehabilitation. The DNA tests are required to identify as many as 57 charred bodies before they can be handed over to relatives for burial.

The unidentifiable dead bodies were shifted to Rahim Yar Khan’s Shaikh Zayed Hospital. The injured are undergoing treatment at the Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Bahawal Victoria Hospital Bahawalpur and Nishtar Hospital Multan. Police have filed a case against unidentified persons.

The investigation teams have collected evidence from the incident spot and it is being considered to make forensic experts a part of the ongoing interrogations as well. The final list issued by the authorities concerned revealed that 74 persons died in the unfortunate tragedy and 42 sustained wounds.

The Tezgam Express caught fire due to explosion in gas canisters used by Tableeghi Jamaat passengers to cook breakfast near Talwari Station in Liaquatpur area of Rahim Yar Khan. The train was bound from Karachi to Rawalpindi. The deadly inferno left three coaches of the Rawalpind-bound Tezgam Express destroyed.

Television footage showed flames pouring out of the carriages as people could be heard crying in the incident. Many commuters died and several were injured when they jumped from the moving train to escape the flames. Survivors said it took nearly 20 minutes for the train to stop, amid contradictory reports about whether the train’s brakes and safety cords were working or not.

Many of the victims were members of Tableeghi Jamaat travelling to Lahore for their annual congregation. The train was carrying 857 passengers, including 550 members of the preaching group. The fire apparently started in two compartments where Tableeghi Jamaat members were staying.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said measures would be taken to not allow anyone onboard with cooking stoves or gas cylinders in the future. “We admit our mistake and I assure you, next time it will not happen,” he said while talking to the media.

Blood samples of

relatives being collected

The process of identification of the people died in the train fire has been continued at Shaikh Zayed Hospital here.

The hospital administration has set up a camp for the family members of the deceased to collect their DNA samples for identification of the dead bodies, most of which were unlikely to be identified due to severe burns.

 The hospital has sent the DNA samples of 57 bodies, while blood samples of 48 family members of the deceased have been collected so far, hospital officials said. 

The DNA tests are required to identify charred bodies before they can be handed over to relatives for their burial. Four injured of the train fire were still admitted at the hospital’s Burn Unit in a precarious condition, hospital sources said.