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Fire on moving train kills 65 passengers in central Pakistan

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Islamabad: At least 65 people have died after a train travelling through Punjab province in Pakistan caught fire, trapping many on board.

The fire started when a gas cylinder used for cooking food exploded, local media reported, and the blaze then spread across three carriages.

The fire destroyed three of the train’s carriages near the town of Rahim Yar Khan in the south of Punjab province.

“Two cooking stoves blew up. They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire,” Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told Geo television.  “Most deaths occurred from people jumping off the train,” he added.

Mazari said the train was the Tezgam, one of Pakistan’s oldest and most popular train services, which runs between the garrison city of Rawalpindi, adjacent to Islamabad, and the southern port city of Karachi.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives and has ordered that the injured be provided top of the line medical care.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where the railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.

In July, at least 23 people were killed in the same district when a passenger train coming from the eastern city of Lahore rammed into a goods train that had stopped at a crossing.

Accidents often happen at unmanned crossings, which frequently lack barriers and sometimes signals.

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Yogi meets filmmakers, invites them to UP

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Several filmmakers on Tuesday met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath through video conferencing to discuss the film city project.

The Chief Minister shared a presentation with the guests and assured filmmakers of all help in film making in the state. He said that the proposed film city would be spread over 1,000 acres of land.

He said that Uttar Pradesh was the heart and hub of India — be it the Freedom Struggle movement, culture or mythology.

“We have Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura. There is Hastinapur which is related to Mahabharat. There is history and there is culture here,” he added.

The Chief Minister spoke about the state’s connectivity and said that the Jewar international airport project was underway and many new airports were on the anvil.

The Chief Minister also spoke about the Kumbh Mela organised by his government last year and said that the event had been appreciated worldwide.

Among those who attended the meeting included actor Paresh Rawal, Anupam Kher, singers Anup Jalota, Udit Narain and Kailash Kher, lyricist Manoj Muntashir, filmmakers Satish Kaushik, Subhash Ghai, David Dhawan, Priyadarshan, Saundarya Rajnikanth, Raveena Tandon and Raju Srivastava, among others.

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