Guna/Muzaffarnagar/Lucknow: Fourteen migrant labourers were killed and nearly 60 injured in two road accidents while they were on the way to their homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, police said on Thursday.
In an early morning accident in Guna, around 180 km from Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, eight Uttar Pradesh-bound migrant workers were killed and nearly 55 injured when the truck they were travelling in collided with a bus, the MP police said.
The second accident took place in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar around 10.30 pm on Wednesday when six migrant workers walking to their homes in Bihar from Punjab were killed and four seriously injured after being hit by a roadways bus on the Delhi-Saharanpur Highway, officials said.
The Guna accident took place around 3 am Thursday when the truck carrying nearly 65 migrant labourers from Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh collided with a bus, which only had a driver, coming from the wrong side on the Guna bypass road, Superintendent of Police Tarun Nayak said.
The injured were undergoing treatment at the Guna district hospital, he said, adding that none of them sustained any serious injury.
Prima facie, it seems the carelessness of the bus driver caused the accident, Nayak said, adding a case has been registered against the bus driver and further investigation is underway.
The deceased were residents of Unnao and Raebareli districts of Uttar Pradesh, according to police, who also said the truck carrying the migrant labourers was going to Unnao.
Guna Collector S Vishwanathan said the district administration is making arrangements to send the injured labourers home safely after they recover.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condoled the death of the migrant labourers and said he has directed officials concerned to ensure proper treatment of the injured persons.
In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 each for the seriously injured, officials said.
Yogi directed officials to coordinate with the Madhya Pradesh government for ensuring proper treatment of the injured, they added. He also asked them to make arrangements for bringing the bodies of the deceased to their homes.
Policemen involved in the rescue work were later quarantined in the wake of the COVID-19 scare, a police official said. Meanwhile, six migrant workers, walking to their homes in Bihar from Punjab, were killed and four seriously injured when a roadways bus ran them over on the Delhi-Saharanpur Highway in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar, officials said.
The incident took place on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday between Ghalauli check-post and Rohana Toll Plaza, about 20 km from Muzaffarnagar, Senior Superintendent of Police Abhishek Yadav said.
Medical reports confirmed that the driver, Rajbir, was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, Station House Officer Anil Kapervan said. The bus driver has been arrested, the SSP said.
The Uttar Pradesh roadways bus was returning to Agra from Saharanpur after dropping migrant labourers to their homes.
A government official in Lucknow said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the accident and announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured. He also asked the Sahranpur Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the incident and fix responsibility, the spokesman said.
The chief minister has directed the officials to ensure proper treatment of the injured and arrangements for taking the bodies to Bihar, he added.
The deceased migrants were identified as Guddu (18) from Bhojpur; Virender Singh (28), a resident of Patna; Harek Singh (52) and his son Vikas (22); Vasudev (22), Harish Sahni (42) -- all from Gopalganj, police said. The injured were taken to hospital, they said.
Later in the day, the six bodies were sent to their homes in Bihar in two ambulances escorted by a police van, after their postmortems, Additional District Magistrate Alok Kumar told PTI.
Saharanpur Divisional Commissioner Sanjay Kumar also visited the spot to conduct an inquiry in the incident. An FIR has also been registered. The chief minister has asked the Sahranpur Commissioner to conduct an inquiry and fix responsibility, a government spokesman said.
The Divisional Commissioner also directed district authorities to ensure migrants don't have to walk to their destinations.
The incident comes days after 16 migrant labourers who had fallen asleep on railway tracks were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad in Maharashtra on May 8.