After walking for 45 km, the migrant workers were so tired that they fell asleep exhausted on the train tracks and could not hear the sound of train approaching, which mowed them down on Friday morning in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district. Sixteen of them, natives of Shahdol and Umaria districts in Madhya Pradesh, died in the tragic accident.
Sajjan Singh, one of the survivors and a native of Mandla, continues to feel desolate and helpless at being unable to save his colleagues.
The bodies of 11 labourers from Shahdol and five from Umaria arrived at their home districts via a special train on Saturday.
Singh, who returned in the same train, said he was part of the group and recounted his ordeal after the sudden lockdown was imposed. The workers had no jobs left and wit their savings exhausted and no mode of transport available, they decided to walk to reach Aurangabad where they had to catch a special train.
After walking for almost 45 kilometre from Jalna, Singh recounted that the group decided to rest.
The workers were so tired that they were unable to listen to the sound of the approaching train. Singh was fortunate as he had not decided to lie down on the side of the tracks.
After gaining consciousness, Singh saw the mutilated bodies of his colleagues strewn around.
Singh also claimed that neither the administration in Maharashtra nor that of the factory where they worked made any arrangements for them to reach the railway station, forcing them to walk to the railway station.
The special train which carried the bodies also brought back labourers stuck in 16 districts of Maharashtra. Most of them claimed they had to walk for hundreds of kilometres before being allowed to board the train.