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16 migrants sleeping on railway track run over by goods train in Aurangabad; all dead

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New Delhi, May 08: At least 16 migrant workers sleeping on rail tracks were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on Friday morning, police said.

14 migrants sleeping on railway track run over by goods train in Aurangabad; all dead

Two other labourers were injured in the tragic mishap which took place at 5.15 am under the Karmad Police station jurisdiction, an official said.

According to PTI, the workers were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna. They had been walking along the rail tracks and slept off due to exhaustion.

They were sleeping on rail tracks due to exhaustion when they were run over by the goods train coming from Jalna, an official at the Karmad police station told PTI.

"The labourers, working in a steel factory in Jalna, left for their home state on foot last night. They came till Karmad and slept on tracks as they were tired," police officer Santosh Khetmalas said.

Fourteen workers lost their lives in the mishap, while two others were injured, he said, adding three labourers who were also part of the group survived as they were sleeping some distance away from rail tracks. Further details are awaited, he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was "extremely anguished" at the death of 16 migrant workers, who were run over early this morning by a goods train in Maharashtra's Aurangabad.

"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. Injured have been taken to Aurangabad Civil Hospital. Inquiry has been ordered," the Railway Ministry tweeted.

The Railways has ordered a comprehensive probe into the Aurangabad accident in which 16 migrants workers who were were mowed down by a goods train. They were returning to Madhya Pradesh amid the novel coronavirus-induced lockdown. What 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.

"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.

While the railways does not treat these incidents as "railway accidents" and terms runover cases as "trespassing", there have been instances in the past where it has offered ex-gratia to the next of kin of a victim on sympathetic grounds.

In the 2017 Elphinstone bridge collapse incident in which 23 people were killed and 39 injured in Mumbai, the railways had given ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the incident, Rs 1 lakh for those seriously injured and Rs 50,000 to people who suffered simple injuries. The railways has not yet announced any ex gratia in the Aurangabad accident.

Migrants who are returning to their home states face innumerable perils on the road, and such accidents have been reported before.

Earlier, three workers - including a woman sleeping on the roadside - were crushed by a high-speed truck on Unhel-Mohanpura road in Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh early on May 7.

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