Woman dies in Jaffar Express blast

Other injuries reported, investigation underway

Adeel Chaudhry February 16, 2023
Police rescuers help victims of Jaffar Express blast at the Chichawatni railway station. PHOTO: EXPRESS


A woman passenger died, while eight others sustained injuries, some of them seriously in an explosion on the Peshawar-bound Jaffar Express near Chichawatni on Thursday, police and witnesses said.

According to the police, the explosion ripped through two berths adjacent to the lavatory in bogie number 4 of the train, which was on its way to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa capital from Quetta.

According to some witnesses, the explosion happened as soon as the train left the Mian Channu railway station. The blast triggered fire and filled the bogie with smoke, creating panic among the passengers, they said.

Some people pulled the alarm chain also but the train did not stop, the witnesses said When the railway staff came knew about the accident, the train had already entered Chichawatni area in the Sahiwal district, they added.

The train stopped at the Chichawatni railway station, where local police confirmed the death of one woman and injuries to eight others, including two children. Police said it was a light blast, therefore, there was no damage to other bogies.

The deceased woman was identified as 60-year-old Nazeeran Bibi, wife of Akbar Ali, from Chak No 5, Sadiqabad Tehsil. Her daughter-in-law, Safia Bibi, 35, and two grandchildren, Iman Fatima,2, and Noor Fatima,6, were among the injured.

Other injured passengers included Irum Bibi, wife Adeeb; Imran Ali, son of Muhammad Akram; and Islam son of Akbar Ali. The body of the deceased was shifted to the Tehsil Hospital, while the seriously injured were taken to Sahiwal.

The local police as well as officials from the Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) started investigation into the explosion. Initial investigation indicated that the explosion was caused by the bursting of a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder.

However, according to sources, the investigation agencies had rejected the possibility of the LPG cylinder blast. Instead, they termed it an explosion of some flammable substance connected to a time device.

Meanwhile, CTD and the Crime Scene Unit (CSU) staff were still looking for evidence. The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) declared the remaining coaches of the train clear after a search operation.

Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi took notice of the blast and directed commissioner and deputy commissioner of Sahiwal to reach the spot and ensure the best treatment facilities to the injured.

After inspecting the affected train coach, the officials visited the Tehsil Hospital and met the injured. Meanwhile, the political and social personalities of Chichawatni strongly condemned the blast and expressed their sympathies with victims.


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