In the early hours of Friday, at least 16 migrant workers were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. As per sources, migrants who were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna along the rail tracks, however, they slept off on the tracks due to exhaustion.
Four of the survivors are being counseled by the police, while the fifth survivor has been admitted to hospital with injuries, senior police officer Mokshada Patil told the sources.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal took to Twitter stating, “I have just heard the sad news about laborers coming under the train, rescue work is underway.”
On the other hand, sources confirmed that Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation while offering his condolences to the families of the victims.
“Extremely anguished by the loss of lives due to the rail accident in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Have spoken to Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyal and he is closely monitoring the situation. All possible assistance required is being provided,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Similar incidents have been reported earlier in March, in Gujarat, wherein two women laborers who were heading for Rajasthan were run over by a freight train in Vapi district. Another such incident was reported along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway near Parol village in Vasai tehsil, when four migrant workers from Rajasthan were crushed to death and three seriously injured after a tempo ran over them as they were walking along a highway.
With the ongoing nationwide lockdown, in major cities, all construction sites have been shut for indefinite periods, which left the migrant workers with no work insisting them to leave for their native villages. Large groups of such workers were forced to undertake long journeys on foot to their far-flung homes in the absence of any means of transport.