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Asia-pacific

Dozens killed in fire sparked by train accident in Burma

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-11-09

A train transporting petrol derailed in Kanbalu in northern Burma on Friday, sparking a fire that killed at least 25 people and wounded more than 60 others, government officials said.

A train carrying petrol derailed in northern Myanmar on Friday, triggering a massive blaze that killed 25 people and wounded dozens more, the government said.

Two petrol tankers loaded onto the train overturned in the accident, and local villagers collecting the fuel were burned to death in the ensuing blaze, according to the information ministry website.

Sixty-two people were hurt in the fire, which broke out at about 10:00 am (0330 GMT) in Kanbalu in Sagaing Region, bordering India, it said.

"While some people from nearby villages were collecting the oil, the fire spread and 25 of them were killed and 62 injured, according to initial information," the ministry said.

It said authorities were investigating the accident and the casualties had been rushed to hospitals in the area.

Photographs posted on the ministry's website showed workers spraying water on to the smoldering wreckage of the train. The charred remains of victims and abandoned buckets lay scattered around the scene of the fire.

Further information was not immediately available and efforts to contact local officials in the remote region were unsuccessful.

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.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-11-09

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