Dozens killed as gas stove sparks fire on Pakistan train

A massive fire caused by a cooking gas stove on a train in Pakistan has killed at least 65 passengers, officials said.

Flames roared through the carriages as the train approached the town of Liaquatpur in Punjab.

It is the latest tragedy to hit the country's dilapidated, poorly maintained and mismanaged rail system.

Deputy commissioner Jamil Ahmed said the death toll had risen steadily since the early morning.

The fire broke out when a gas stove exploded as breakfast was being prepared on board, he added.

Several of the victims had jumped off the train — many to their deaths — after the fire broke out, said Mr Ahmed.

Poor passengers often bring their own small gas stoves on trains to cook their meals, despite rules to the contrary, according to railways minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Through the morning hours, rescue workers and inspectors sifted through the charred wreckage, looking for survivors and aiding the injured.

Local TV footage from the scene showed a huge blaze raging as firefighters struggled to get it under control.