Sixteen migrant labourers were run over by a goods train as they were sleep on the rail tracks in the western Indian state of Maharashtra today, officials said.
The workers lost their jobs due to Covid-19 enforced lockdown and were on their way back home in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.
Four workers survived in the accident which took place near Karmad, around 30 km from Aurangabad town, police said.
The train passed over the workers as they slept on the rail tracks on Aurangabad-Jalna line.
District police chief Mokshada Patil said the survivors had tried in vain to wake up their exhausted colleagues who had slept on the track after an overnight walk from Jalna, around 40 km from the accident spot.
The workers had been walking along the rail tracks and slept on the tracks, he said, adding that the accident happened at around 5:15am local time.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed "extreme anguish" over the loss of lives in the accident.
"Extremely anguished by the loss of lives due to the rail accident in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Have spoken to Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyal and he is closely monitoring the situation. All possible assistance required is being provided," Modi said in a Twitter post.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a financial aid of Rs 5 lakh each to their families and his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Rs 5 lakh would be given each to the families of the workers.