Sixteen migrants killed after cargo train runs over them; railways orders probe

The migrants were exhausted after walking on their way home and slept on the railway line

migrant killed

Sixteen migrant workers in a group of twenty suffered a tragic fate after they were mowed down by an empty freight train in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district in the early hours of Friday. It was reported that while 14 of them passed away on the spot, two of them succumbed to their injuries later.

The workers were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna, 157 kms apart, to board a “Shramik Special” train to return to Madhya Pradesh. They were sleeping on the railway track after being exhausted from covering such a long distance, when the mishap occurred between the Badnapur and Karmad stations in Nanded division.

The labourers were from Umarya and Shahdol (in Madhya Pradesh) and worked at the SRG Company in Jalna, Maharashtra.

NDTV reported Senior Police Inspector, Mokshada Patil saying that four of the survivors who were in shock were being counselled by the police. “We are counselling the survivors before we speak to them for more details,” Ms Patil said.

The police said that the migrants who were headed to MP, likely assumed that the trains were not running due to the coronavirus lockdown. They were run over by the passing train at 5:15 AM today at the district, 360 kms from Mumbai.

The empty cargo train was heading from Cherlapally Station near Hyderabad to Panewadi Station near Manmad in Nashik, The Indian Express reported. An official said that the motormen tried to bring the train to a halt but failed to do so, an official said.

Chief Public Relations Officer of South Central Railway Ch Rakesh 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 added that an inquiry had been ordered under Shri Ram Kripal, the Commissioner of Railway Safety, SCR.

“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.



In light of the incident, it has been reported that the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to send a team of officials on a special plane to Aurangabad to arrange for the last rites of the labourers. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased, and demanded an inquiry into the incident.




Leaders from different parties have condoled the loss of the lives of the migrants. PM Narendra Modi too expressed grief over the incident saying he was “extremely anguished” by the loss of lives due to the rail accident.

However, criticism towards his statement came in from all quarters saying that the incident could have been altogether avoided if the Centre had made arrangements for the migrants to return home at the beginning of the lockdown. Had trains and buses been provided to migrants during the start of the lockdown, lakhs of migrants wouldn’t need to walk back to their native places. Whether the responsibility of this tragedy will lie on the shoulders of the exhausted migrants who’ve to run from pillar to post to go back home or whether it will lie on the inefficiency of the Central government, is yet to be seen.


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