At least sixteen migrant workers sleeping on rail tracks while returning to Madhya Pradesh were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on Friday, police said.
The workers, who were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna, were returning to Madhya Pradesh, an official at the Karmad police station told a news agency.
They had been walking along the rail tracks and slept on the rail tracks due to exhaustion, he said.
Mokshada Patil, SP Aurangabad said police has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
“Early morning, a freight train ran over 16 labourers from Madhya Pradesh. We are investigating the matter,” Patil said.
Ch. Rakesh, Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) of South Central Railway (SCR) speaking to ANI over the phone said: “An empty petroleum tanker train was moving from Cherlapally Station to Panevadi Railway Station. The incident occurred early this morning. A high-level enquiry at the level of Commissioner Railway safety has been constituted.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the death of 14 migrant workers in the train accident. He said all possible assistance is being provided.
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 8, 2020
They were mowed down by the train at 5.15 am, the official added.
Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office announced ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of those who were killed in the Aurangabad train accident.
“Rupees five lakhs each has been announced as ex gratia to families of the deceased in the Karmad (Aurangabad) train accident,” said Maharashtra CMO.
मुख्यमंत्री उद्धव बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांनी संभाजीनगर(औरंगाबाद) जवळील करमाड येथे सटाणा शिवारात मालवाहू रेल्वेखाली येऊन परराज्यातील १६ मजुरांच्या झालेल्या मृत्यूबद्दल तीव्र दू:ख व्यक्त केले असून मृतांच्या कुटुंबियांना मुख्यमंत्री सहाय्यता निधीतून प्रत्येकी ₹ ५ लाख मदत जाहीर केली आहे.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) May 8, 2020
According to Railways officials, migrant labourers were native of Madhya Pradesh working in SRG Company, Jalna in Maharashtra.
During early hours today after seeing some labourers on track, loco pilot of goods train tried to stop the train but eventually hit them between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Parbhani-Manmad section
Injureds have been taken to Aurangabad Civil Hospital.
Inquiry has been ordered
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) May 8, 2020
“As per the version of survivors they had left Jalna at 7 pm on May 7 by foot. They initially walked on the road (upto Badnapore) and later shifted onto the track towards Aurangabad. After walking for about 36 KMs, they became tired and sat on the track and most of them slept there causing the mishap,” read a statement by railway officials.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condoled the death of the migrant workers from his state and announced a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to their families.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar termed the death of the migrant workers as heart-wrenching and said the Centre must work closely in unison with state governments to ensure labourers reach their homes safely.