Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: In a shocking news, at least 16 migrant workers – who were travelling to the native village in Madhya Pradesh from Maharashtra’s Jalna -- were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad on Friday morning, said the officials.

The officials said that four migrants survived the frightful incident who told them that the labourers had slept on the track after an overnight walk from Jalna, around 40 km from the accident spot.

“The labourers, working in a steel factory in Jalna, left for their home state on foot last night. They came till Karmad and slept off on the tracks as they were tired,” news agency PTI quoted a police official as saying.

The labourers told the officials that they raised alarm to alert their group members sleeping on tracks about a fast-approaching freight train, but it all went in vain as 16 of them were crushed to death at the crack of dawn.

“I had a word with the survivors. They started walking from Jalna and tried to reach Bhusaval on earlier night which is around 30-40 km away from the place of the accident (near Karmad near Aurangabad),” said Superintendent of Police Mokshada Patil, as quoted by PTI.

Following the incident, the Maharashtra government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the deceased. Madhya Pradesh government also announced a financial aid of Rs 5 lakh for the victims’ families.

Expressing grief over the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that he is in touch with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh = Chouhan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief and said that he is ‘deeply anguished’ by the incident. “Extremely anguished by the loss of lives due to the rail accident in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Have spoken to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and he is closely monitoring the situation. All possible assistance required is being provided,” PM Modi tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Railways said that it has ordered a comprehensive probe into the incident. A Railways official said that it is being probed is the role of patrolmen who are tasked with keeping trespassers away from tracks and also alert the nearest station about any incident.

The Railways further said that the driver tried to stop the train after seeing the labourers on track but eventually hit them between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Parbhani-Manmad section.

“Ram Kripal, Commissioner of Railway Safety, South Central Circle, will hold an independent inquiry into today's labourers runover incident in Parbhani-Manmad section of Nanded Railway division of South Central Railway,” the Railway Ministry announced.

The development comes at a time when stranded migrant workers are returning to their home states amid the coronavirus lockdown. Following an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), special 'Shramik' trains were started by the government to provide transport to migrant workers to reach their homes.

However, several of them are still finding it difficult to get a transport and have started walking to their homes on their own.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma