The tragedy took place when the victims were reportedly crossing the 15-m long platform-less bridge in the night to reach Surat from the neighbouring Udhna station.According to Surat railway police sources, the deceased included two women and two children. Mutilated bodies of 15 victims were recovered from the down track and body of a child was recovered from the Kakdikhadi sewage canal.
Police, who have found some railway tickets from the possession of the victims, believed that they all belonged to Manickpur in Uttar Pradesh and had taken the short-cut to reach Surat to avoid a 8 km long distance by road from Udhna.
Railway rescue teams and fire brigade personnel have removed the victims to the Surat Civil hospital. The deceased seemed to be labourers and were coming to Surat in search of work, the sources said. Senior railway officials, including GRP superintendent V S Javeliya, have rushed to the accident spot.
Talking to the sources over phone from the accident spot, Surat railway police inspector H M Patel said, ''The accident seem to have occured between 2200 hrs and 2300 hrs. But, it was not known so far as to which train was involved in the mishap. Since there was no escape route or platform on the bridge, all the victims were crushed to death by the speeding train.'' Sources said, the first information about the mishap reached Surat railway police a couple of hours after the accident.
The bodies of the victims were yet to be identified, the sources added.