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Dozens burned to death in Myanmar train crash

At least 25 people are dead after a train carrying liquid fuel crashed in northern Myanmar.

Myanmar train crash 9 11 2012Enlarge
Myanmar's railways have a poor safety record after decades of neglect. This picture shows a train accident in Yangon in September 2011. (SOE THAN WIN/AFP/Getty Images)

At least 25 people are dead after a train crash in northern Myanmar, Agence France-Presse reports.

Officials said another 62 people were injured when the train came off the tracks this morning near Kanbalu, about 300 miles north of the capital, Naypyidaw.

Most victims were burned to death when fuel tankers the train was carrying caught fire, the Associated Press reported. There were seven tankers of gasoline and two of diesel onboard, according to the AP.

The Information Ministry said local villagers had come to siphon off leaking fuel after the crash when the tankers burst into flames.

One witness reportedly told Radio Free Asia some of the bodies were so badly burned that rescuers couldn't even tell their gender.

The number of casualties might be higher than the official figure, emergency workers told the BBC, saying that 27 people had been killed and more than 80 taken to hospital.

The train had been travelling from Mandalay, in the center of Myanmar, to Myiktyina in the north.

The government says it is investigating what caused the accident.

Myanmar's extensive rail network has been left "decrepit" by years of under-investment under decades of military rule, AFP says.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/myanmar/121109/myanmar-train-crash-kanbalu