Sixteen workers were killed after being run over by a train in Western India. According to the police,the labourers worked for a steel company and had been on their way to their village in the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh after being laid off, due to the Corona virus lockdown.
After walking all night,the migrant workers had decided to sleep on the tracks as they were exhausted. Due to the current lockdown,which has been extended till May17, they had not been expecting any trains to be moving.
Under the lockdown, all public transport has been suspended so migrant workers heading home often have to walk long distances to reach their destination.
An inquiry ordered by the railway ministry shows that the driver tried to stop the freight train when he saw the workers on the tracks in the western state of Maharashtra, but he could not.
India’s railway network is one of the largest in the world and carries about 23 million passengers a day. Accidents occur very often, mostly due to poor maintenance and human error.
A 2012 government report described the loss of 15,000 passengers to rail accidents every year in India as a “massacre”.