…As 62 passengers dead, over 40 injured after train catches fire in Pakistan***
At least 78 people were killed during protests in Ethiopia last week over the treatment of a prominent activist, the prime minister’s spokeswoman said on Thursday.
Billene Seyoum told a news conference that 409 people had been detained over the unrest and that investigations were ongoing and the death toll and number detained could rise.
Supporters of activist Jawar Mohammed took to the streets last week to protest against his treatment after he said police had surrounded his home in Addis Ababa and tried to withdraw his government security detail.
Crowds of young men from his Oromo ethnic group quickly turned their anger against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, also an Oromo, saying that he had betrayed them by mistreating Jawar.
Seyoum said that at least 78 civilians had died in “a very senseless act of violence” in the Oromiya and Harari regions and the eastern city of Dire Dawa.
Meanwhile, at least 62 persons are killed and more than 40 are injured when a train from Karachi to Rawalpindi caught fire in Pakistan’s east Punjab province on Thursday. The passenger train, Tezgam, caught fire near the city area of Liaquatpur, a Pakistan Railways official confirmed. The fire was caused when a gas cylinder being carried by a passenger exploded, he said.
The fire destroyed three of the train carriages, including two economy class carriages and one business class. Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed said, “Two cooking stoves blew up. They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire.” “Most deaths occurred when people jumped off the train,” he said.
He added men from a ‘Tableeghi Jammat’ were travelling in the carriage where the incident occurred. “Bogies were severely damaged by the fire and they have been detached from the rest of the train,” he said.
Rasheed added the fire had been extinguished and cooling efforts were underway.
According to an official, there were a total of 207 passengers in the three bogies that were completely gutted in the fire. The gruesome accident charred the bodies that made it difficult to identify the people who died in the accident.
Meanwhile, the process of cooling the express train is currently underway.
Prime Minister Imran Khan while expressing his condolences directed the authorities to ensure the provision of best medical treatment for the injured.
This is the second major train accident in Pakistan this year. In July, 24 people were killed, when the Akbar Bugti Express travelling from Lahore to Quetta collided with a stationary freight train at the Walhar Railway Station in Sadiqabad Tehsil of Punjab province.
Additional reports from Zee