LAHORE: The forensic report of the 2019 Tezgam inferno near Liaquatpur in southern Punjab has confirmed gas leakage from cylinders in bogie no. 10 and 11.
The fire had claimed the lives of more than 7o people. About 40 people, including women and children, were injured, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said at the time.
The forensic report suggested that the ignition occurred immediately when the gas came in contact with a spark or flame.
Importantly, the report of Pakistan Railways’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dost Leghari claiming short-circuiting as the cause of the tragic incident has also been termed “suspicious”.
It has further pointed out that a matchstick or smoking of a cigarette in the gas leakage could also be the cause of the incident.
The samples of damaged and burnt cylinders were taken from Chani Goth Railway Station instead of the spot of the incident.
On the other hand, the Railways Ministry has constituted an inquiry committee to reinvestigate the incident, according to a notification issued on Tuesday.
The legal status of the federal government inspector of railways has been termed suspicious as the appointment was made by railways secretary instead of the federal government.
On Monday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) strictly ordered secretaries of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Railways to personally appear in the next hearing on Feb. 24 in the same case.
Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani presided over the hearing of the case and expressed displeasure over the proceedings and response from the concerned ministries over the matter.
“Does [the court] needs to summon the Prime Minister now?” the judge asked angrily, adding that people were burnt to death while the two ministries were unaware of telling anything.
“Do we need to tell the Prime Minister that the two ministries aren’t working [properly]?” he questioned.
“Both ministries are asleep as they think that nobody had died in the incident […] if you won’t work, then we will make you work through [the court’s] orders.”
“Even the federal government doesn’t know if an FIR was lodged or not […] [you] are oppressing the people while sitting in a building in Islamabad,” the judge remarked.
“Do you consider the Islamabad High Court “a sort of postal office”? […] after the passage of five months, you are writing a letter seeking a report,” the chief justice of IHC lamented.
Meanwhile, the court also ordered all investigation officers in the case to personally appear in the next hearing.