25 dead in Myanmar train fire
- Published: 9/11/2012 at 11:47 PM
- Online news:
Investigators searched for clues on Saturday to the cause of a train derailment and an ensuing blaze that killed 25 people and injured nearly 100 more in northern Myanmar.
A firefighter extinguishes a blaze on the train that derailed near Kantbalu, in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. (AFP Photo, Ho, Myanmar Information Ministry)
Two petrol tankers loaded onto the train overturned in Friday's accident and local villagers collecting the fuel were burned to death as flames tore across the crash site.
While the death toll did not rise overnight, police said 93 injured people were undergoing treatment, most of them in local hospitals in the town of Kantbalu in the Sagaing Region bordering India.
"I don't think the death toll will rise. The people who died perished on the spot when they were burnt," a police officer in Kantbalu told AFP by telephone, requesting anonymity.
The officer added that the cause of the accident was still unknown.
Photographs posted on a government website showed the charred remains of victims and debris scattered around the site, while the scorched and mangled train lay wrecked with its wheels off the track.
Safety standards are generally poor in Myanmar, which is emerging from decades of military rule under a new quasi-civilian government, and the decrepit rail system has suffered from years of under-investment.
Long isolated under almost half a century of junta rule, Myanmar has embarked upon a rapid series of political and economic reforms under President Thein Sein, who is now wooing foreign investors to boost the ailing economy.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency