Aurangabad:The perilous journey of 16 migrant labourers met a devastating end on Friday when a cargo train plying between Badnapur and Karmad, about 25 km from here, crushed them all to death while they were sleeping on the railway tracks.
The labourers, hailing from Sadol and Umaria districts of Madhya Pradesh, were working for a steel company at Chandanzira in Jalna.
Over 20 migrants labourers had set out on foot from Jalna on Thursday at 1900 hrs. After walking for nearly 36 Km, they got exhausted and slept on the tracks. Out of all the labourers, 14 people slept on the railway track while two people lay very close to it.
Railway sources said that at 0522 hrs, the Loco pilot of a freight train going to Cherlapally witnessed that 15 to 20 people were sleeping on the Kilometer number 139/4 between Badnapur to Karmad under Nanded division, out of which 15 of them were crushed to death while one person who was grievously injured, succumbed in a hospital. Three others who were resting away from the track, are safe and sound while one other is injured and admitted in local civil hospital.
All top officials of the district including Aurangabad Rural SP Mokshada Patil, District Collector Uday Chaudhari and other railways officials have reached the spot and are currently assessing the situation. Meanwhile a Special Railway relief train has also reached to provide relief.
The mutilated bodies of the migrant workers have been sent to a nearby hospital while their identities are yet to be ascertained.
Meanwhile, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed their deep grief over the tragic incident.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, too, expressed his deep anguish and has ordered a high-level investigation into the incident and to take care of all possible needs for the treatment of the injured labourers.
CM Chouhan, upon receiving information about the accident, discussed the matter with Railway Minister and announced to give an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased labourers.
According to sources, Madhya Pradesh government is sending a special aircraft and team to Aurangabad which will make proper arrangements for the treatment of the injured laborer and bringing the body of the deceased laborers to their home. Mr Chauhan is also in touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.(UNI)