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Pakistan to use DNA tests to identify train fire victims

Pakistani railway conductor Sadiue Ahmed Khan told The Associated Press that the train's emergency brake system was in perfect working order and the train stopped within three minutes after the first signs of fire, in Multan, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. A raging fire swept through a train in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province killing over 70 people, amid contradictory reports about the state of the train’s brakes, with survivors saying it took nearly 20 minutes for the train to stop. (AP Photo/Asim Tanveer)
October 31, 2019 - 11:39 PM

MULTAN, Pakistan - Pakistani officials say DNA tests will be used identify most of the victims of the massive train fire in eastern Punjab province the previous day that killed 74 people.

Jamil Ahmed, a deputy commissioner from the district of Rahim Yar Khan, said on Friday that DNA tests are required to identify as many as 52 charred bodies before they can be handed over to relatives for burial.

Many of the victims were members of an Islamic preaching group.

Thursday's fire was caused by a cooking gas stove that passengers were using onboard to prepare their food, something that poor Pakistanis often do although it's against safety regulations.

The train was travelling from the port city of Karachi to the city of Rawalpindi, with 857 passengers onboard, when it caught fire.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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