Police said at least 14 migrant workers were crushed by a freight train in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on Friday morning. An official said two other workers were injured in the accident at 5.15 am under the jurisdiction of Karamad Police Station.
An official of Karamad police station said that the workers were going to Bhusawal from Jalna in central Maharashtra along the railway tracks, returning to their home state of Madhya Pradesh.
He said that he was sleeping on railway tracks due to exhaustion when he was run over by a goods train coming from Jalna, about 40 km from Karamad.
Police officer Santosh Khetamalas said, “The laborers working in a steel factory in Jalna left for their home state last night. They came to Karamad and slept exhausted.”
Fourteen workers died in the accident, while two others were injured, leaving three workers in the group as they were sleeping some distance away from the rail tracks. The injured are undergoing treatment, Khetmal said.
Due to the coronovirus-enforced lockdown, immigrant workers who are desperate to divert police attention and go to their places of origin move on rail tracks.
In a video clip of the scene of the accident, the bodies of migrant workers are lying on the tracks and their small personal belongings are scattered around.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the death of 14 migrant workers in a train accident. He said that all possible assistance is being provided.
The Prime Minister said in a tweet, “A railway accident in Aurangabad, Maharashtra killed people. The Railway Minister has spoken to Mr. Piyush Goyal and he is closely monitoring the situation.”
The governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh announced financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the deceased.