Sixteen migrant workers, who were walking from Jalna to Bhusawal, were mowed down by a goods train in Aurangabad (Maharashtra).
In the incident, which took place early morning on Friday, 14 workers lost their lives on the spot, while 2 succumbed to injuries later.
The migrant workers were walking in hopes of boarding a ‘Shramik Special’ train to return to Madhya Pradesh and were sleeping on the tracks when the mishap occurred.
The incident took place between the Badnapur and Karmad railways stations in Nanded Division.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his grief. He wrote:
Inspector Santosh Khetmal of the Aurangabad rural police said that the migrant workers must have fallen asleep on the tracks owing to exhaustion.
He said, “All the 20 workers were walking from Jalna to Bhusawal, which is about 150 kilometers. They stopped after walking for about 45 kilometers for some rest and fell asleep on the tracks. A goods train ran over them at around 5.15 am.”
The train, which was empty, was going to Panewadi Station near Manmad (Nashik) from Cherlapally Station near Hyderabad.
According to an official, the motormen did try to stop the train but failed to do so in time.
Ch Rakesh, Chief Public Relations Officer of South Central Railway, said, “The loco pilot noticed some persons along the tracks, he honked and also tried to stop the train but failed to contain the speed before hitting those lying on the tracks.”
He also informed that a probe has been ordered under the Commissioner of Railway Safety, SCR.
The Ministry of Railways tweeted:
While 16 workers from the group of 20 were killed, 1 was severely injured and is undergoing treatment at a government hospital. Other workers were sleeping away from the track and managed to escape unhurt.