Survivors of the Aurangabad train accident frantically raised alarm to alert their group members sleeping on tracks about a fast-approaching freight train, but it all went in vain as 16 of them were crushed to death at the crack of dawn on Friday.
Chilling details emerged about the tragedy involving a group of migrant workers who were on their way to native places in Madhya Pradesh on foot from Maharashtra and had taken a break to rest on rail tracks out of sheer fatigue.
The accident left 16 migrant workers dead and one injured while three others survived. All of them were working in a steel manufacturing in Jalna, a district adjoining Aurangabad in central Maharashtra, and were heading home in the amidst of coronavirus-enforced lockdown, officials said.
"A group of 20 stranded labourers started walking from Jalna. They decided to take rest and most of them lied on rail tracks. Three of them were taking rest in a nearby plain area. After some time, these three saw a goods train coming and immediately raised the alarm but it went unheard," Superintendent of Police Mokshada Patil told PTI.
"I had a word with the survivors. They started walking from Jalna and tried to reach Bhusaval on earlier night which is around 30-40 km away from the place of the accident (near Karmad near Aurangabad)," Patil said.
"The three survivors, who were resting a little away, tried to wake up the people sleeping on the tracks by frantically shouting, but that provide futile as the train ran over them," the police officer said. "This is an unfortunate incident. Out of the 20 people, 16 died, one is injured and three are with us. A case will be registered at the Karmad police station," she added.
The survivors were identified as Inderlal Dhurve (20 district Mandla), Virendrasingh Gaur (27, district Umaria) and Shivman Singh Gaur (27, district Shahdol) and the injured Sajjan Singh (resident of Khajeri district).
A video clip from the scene of the tragedy showed the mutilated bodies of migrant workers lying on the tracks and nearby with their meagre personal belongings scattered around. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader and state minister Sandipan Bhumre and Member of Legislative Assembly Ambadas Danve visited the Government Medical College and Hospital here and met the injured.
Danve said, "The state government is making efforts to send migrant workers to their home states. People should have patience."
The deceased included Dhansingh Gond, Nirlesh Singh Gond, Buddharaj Singh Gond, Rabendra Singh Gond, Rajbohram Paras Singh, Dharmendra Singh Gond, Shreedayal Singh Suresh Singh Kaul, Santosh Napit, Brijesh Bheyadin (all from Shahdol district), Bigendra Singh, Pradeep Singh Gond, Nemshah Singh, Munim Singh (all Umaria district).
One of the deceased was identified as Acchelal Singh, but his native district was not yet known, police officials said, adding another victim was yet to be identified.