A fire swept through a Pakistani train on Thursday killing at least 64 people after a gas canister passengers were using to cook breakfast exploded, the minister for railways said.

The fire destroyed three of the train’s carriages near the town of Rahim Yar Khan, in the south of the Punjab province.

It was on its way from the southern city of Karachi to Rawalpindi, near the capital, with many people going to a religious conference.

People sneaking stoves onto trains in order to prepare meals on long journeys is a common problem, said the Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Pakistan’s colonial-era railway network has fallen into disrepair in recent decades due to chronic under-investment and poor maintenance.

Eleven people were killed in an accident in July and four in another accident in September.

About 130 people were killed in 2005 when a train rammed into another at a station in Sindh province and a third train hit the wreckage.