In a tragic incident from Maharashtra 17 migrant labourers returning to Madhya Pradesh amid the nationwide lockdown died after being run over by a goods train in Aurangabad on Friday.

While 15 deaths were initially reported, the death toll went up after an injured labourer succumbed to injuries. The incident occurred at around 5:30 am on the Aurangabad-Jalna railway line.

A government official told PTI that the labourers, who had been walking along the railway tracks fell asleep due to exhaustion. The official added that they were mowed down by the train early in the morning.

“During early hours today after seeing some labourers on track, loco pilot of goods train tried to stop the train but eventually hit them between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Parbhani-Manmad section. The injured have been taken to Aurangabad Civil Hospital. An inquiry has been ordered,” the Railway ministry said.

The railways further clarified that around 15 to 20 people were sleeping on the track when the incident occurred.

According to the reports, the labourers run over were natives of Umarya and Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh and had been working in SRG Company in Jalna.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths on Twitter: “Extremely anguished by the loss of lives due to the rail accident in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Have spoken to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and he is closely monitoring the situation. All possible assistance required is being provided.”

Railway Minister also tweeted: “Today received a saddening news of labourers sleeping on railway tracks run over by a goods train at 5.22 a.m. in Nanded division between Karnad and Badnapur railway station. Relief work is on and an enquiry has been ordered. I pray for the those who lost their lives.”

Chhattisgarh cheif minister Bhupesh Baghel has also expressed his condolence in twitter in which he stated that ” The death of 14 laborers sleeping on the railway tracks near Aurangabad in Maharashtra is very disturbing and disheartening.This accident also puts a question mark on our sensitivity towards these workers who want to go home.May God give peace to their souls.

Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey tweeted that “I am deeply saddened by the death of the workers in the train accident in Aurangabad. I will pray to God to give peace to their soul and to provide strength to their families to bear this sorrow.