Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he is extremely anguished by the news of the Aurangabad rail accident in which at least 16 migrant labourers were mowed down by a goods train.
In a tweet, PM Modi said, “Extremely anguished by the loss of lives due to the rail accident in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Have spoken to Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyal and he is closely monitoring the situation. All possible assistance required is being provided.”
The group of migrant labourers were sleeping on railway tracks when an empty rake of a goods train run them over around 5 am on Friday morning.
According to PTI, the poor migrant labourers were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna in central Maharashtra along the rail tracks and had slept on the tracks itself. The labourers were returning to their home state Madhya Pradesh and were walking the distance amid the lockdown.
According to the Railway Ministry, "In the early hours of Friday, after seeing some labourers on the track, loco pilot of goods train tried to stop the train but eventually hit them between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Parbhani-Manmad section."
The injured labourers have been taken to Aurangabad Civil Hospital. The ministry has said an investigation has been ordered into the incident.
The migrant labourer crisis has been a topic of hot debate ever since PM Modi announced the nationwide lockdown on March 24. Rendered homeless with the coronavirus lockdown, lakhs of migrants cried for help from the government while thousands started walking towards their home states covering a distance of hundreds of kilometres.