A survivor and eyewitness of the Aurangabad train accident narrated the recalled the nightmare that claimed that lives of 16 migrant labourers on Friday. Dhirendra Singh who is one of the labourers said that he had raised an alarm to save the other migrant workers who were on the tracks, but to no avail.
Speaking to the news agency, ANI, Singh said that they were going back to their native villages in Madhya Pradesh. "We left our rooms at 7 pm on Thursday and reached the incident spot at around 4 AM in the morning on Friday. We stopped there to take some rest. Those who died in the incident were only a few metres ahead of three of us. They sat on the tracks and gradually fell asleep. I, along with the other two people were taking rest some distance away from tracks." He further added that when he saw the train coming, he tried to alert his colleagues but they could not hear him.
In the early hours on Friday, an empty rake of goods wagon ran over 16 migrant workers who were sleeping on the tracks while walking a long distance, near Karmad district in Aurangabad. The workers, who were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna, were returning to Madhya Pradesh, an official at the Karmad police station told news agency PTI. They had been walking along the rail tracks and slept on the rail tracks due to exhaustion, said Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of South Central Railway. They were mowed down by the train at 5.15 am, the official added.
In the view of the accident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of the deceased. Expressing anguish over the incident, he said, "I am distressed. I am pained at the mishap which took place between the Sambhaji Nagar-Jalna Railway route. I want to tell the migrant workers that you should not get anxious. The state government is with you. We have made arrangements for 5.5-6 lakh migrant workers in the state. We are in discussion with other states regarding the commencement of trains. But there should not be any crowding."
(With ANI Inputs)