At least 16 people died and four others were injured this Friday after being hit by a freight train while they slept on the way to their region of origin in western India, after they were left without work due to the total confinement decreed in the country. by the coronavirus.
The accident took place around 5.30 a.m. (00.00 GMT) in the Aurangabad district, in the state of Maharashtra, when a train hit a group of 20 workers sleeping on the tracks, the chief of police told Efe rural country, Nand Vanshi.
The victims worked in a factory that closed due to the pandemic and due to the lack of public transport due to the movement restrictions imposed since last March 25 by the coronavirus, they decided to walk the way back to their localities of origin in the neighbor Madhya Pradesh state.
“They walked along the train tracks and slept when they got tired,” said the police officer, adding that they had already traveled about 40 kilometers on foot and that they planned to follow the tracks for another hundred kilometers before continuing on the road.
“It was dark and they had been walking all night, so they fell asleep on the track and the goods train ran over them,” he said.
THE TRAIN COULD NOT STOP
The Indian Ministry of Railways reported through its official Twitter account that “the freight train driver tried to stop the convoy” after seeing some workers on the track, but without success.
“The wounded have been transferred to the Aurangabad Civil Hospital,” he added, indicating that the Ministry has ordered the opening of an investigation into the event.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi became interested in the accident and expressed his condolences through the same social network.
“Extremely distressed by the loss of life caused by the railway accident,” he wrote.
The Maharashtra government announced compensation of Rs 500,000 (about 6,100 euros) for the relatives of the deceased and noted that the local administration will bear the costs of treating the injured.
He also noted that he is negotiating with the central government about the possibility of allowing passenger trains to circulate so that migrant workers who want to leave large cities for their places of origin can do so safely.
The confinement imposed on India’s 1.3 billion people left millions of workers unemployed and led hundreds of thousands to hit the road on foot to return to their places of origin.
Despite the fact that some states chartered buses and trains after weeks of crisis so that these people could return to their homes, many continue to be stranded, venturing to walk hundreds of kilometers before the uncertainty of a return opportunity.