The migrant labourers who were run over by a goods train in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district had started their journey for Madhya Pradesh without informing their employer or the local administration, an official said on Friday.
The sixteen victims, aged between 20 and 35 years, hailed from Umaria and Shahdol districts of MP, and worked at SRG steel company in Jalna, said Jalna district superintendent of police S Chaitanya.
"They left without informing the company or the district administration," he said.
While the administration is running a shelter camp for migrant labourers, the victims were living on the premises of the factory where worked, he added.
A group of 21 labourers working at SRG steel mill in Jalna district of central Maharashtra decided to walk to Aurangabad as they believed they could catch a train for MP from there, the SP said.
According to local police, they slept on the tracks near Karmad due to fatigue, and 16 of them were crushed to death under a goods train.
According to the survivors of the tragedy, they left Jalna around 7 on Thursday evening and decided to rest on the tracks after walking for about 36 km, said a railway official.
"The goods train had empty petroleum containers and it was on its way to Panewadi in Manmad tehsil. After the incident, it was halted at the next station," said a spokesperson on South Central Railway.
Four migrant workers survived the accident which took place at 5.15 am near Karmad, around 30 km from
Aurangabad, police said.