Thirteen migrant labourers and a year-old-girl from Rajasthan who were sleeping by the roadside in Gujarat's Surat district were among 15 dead after a dumper truck ran over them on Tuesday, police said. Those killed include eight women and a migrant worker from Madhya Pradesh, police said. While 12 of them died on the spot, three died during treatment at a hospital, police added.
Except for the 19-year-old worker from Madhya Pradesh, all the other deceased were from villages in Banswara district in south Rajasthan, police said. The tragedy took place near Kosamba village, around 60 km from Surat, police said. The truck driver, who apparently lost control over the vehicle after hitting a sugarcane laden tractor, has been booked under sections of the IPC and Motor Vehicles Act, police said.
The truck driver and the vehicle's 'cleaner' were also injured in the accident and are being treated at a hospital. The truck ran over the migrant construction workers on the Kim-Mandvi road shortly after midnight, Surat SP Usha Rada said.
The truck driver lost control over his vehicle after dashing against the tractor and veered off the road onto the pavement where the workers were sleeping, she said. "The truck was on its way to Mandvi from Kim. The driver lost control of the vehicle after it hit sugarcane hanging out of the tractor trolley coming from the opposite direction.
"The truck's front window pane shattered on impact, which blocked the driver's vision. The truck then veered off the road and crashed into the sleeping labourers," she said. Three workers injured in the tragedy are being treated in a nearby hospital, the police official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that ex-gratia of Rs two lakh from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund would be given to the next of kin of each person killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 would be given to each injured. "The loss of lives due to a truck accident in Surat is tragic. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover at the earliest," the PMO tweeted, quoting Modi.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also announced compensation of Rs two lakh to the kin of each deceased.
Fifteen migrant workers sleeping on the sidewalk were killed after a truck ran over in Surat, Gujarat on Tuesday.
BJP leader Om Birla condoled the victims' deaths after the incident. "Getting to know about a tragic accident in Surat, Gujarat, in which many workers who slept on the sidewalk died. I express my deepest condolences to all the bereaved family members of this heart-wrenching accident and wish the injured to get well soon," he said on Twitter.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's office said in a tweet that the CM expressed deep condolences after the death of several civilians in the horrific road accident in Surat, Gujarat. "The Chief Minister prayed to God to give peace to the departed souls, to provide support to their family members in this difficult time and to make the injured fully healthy," the tweet said.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot expressed sadness after the incident, as well. "Deeply saddened to know many labourers from Banswara, Rajasthan have lost their lives after a truck ran over them as they were sleeping near a road in Surat. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families and prayers for speedy recovery of the injured," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)