At least 15 migrant labourers, sleeping by the roadside in Gujarat’s Surat district, were killed on Tuesday after a truck ran over them, PTI reported. The truck driver has been detained.
The incident took place at Kim-Mandvi road near Kosamba village, around 60 km from Surat, the police said. All the labourers were from Rajasthan.
Twelve people died on the spot, the police said, adding that three of the 12 people who were injured died at a hospital.
Surat Deputy Superintendent of Police CM Jadeja said that the dumper driver lost control after his vehicle slightly hit a tractor loaded with sugarcanes, reported The Indian Express. Surat Superintendent of Police Usha Rada told PTI that the impact with the sugarcane tractor shattered the windows of the truck and this blocked the driver’s vision, leading to the accident.
“The dumper driver and cleaner are injured and they are under treatment at the SMIMER [Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research] hospital,” Jadeja said. “We have lodged an offence into the incident and have started the probe.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the incident tragic. “My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” the prime minister’s office quoted Modi as saying. “Praying that the injured recover at the earliest.”
Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. “Rs 50,000 each would be given to those injured,” the PMO said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the relatives of those who died, reported ANI.
Rajasthan Chief Minister expressed his grief. “Deeply saddened to know many labourers from Banswara, Rajasthan have lost lives after a truck ran over them as they were sleeping near the road in Surat,” he tweeted. “My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for speedy recovery of those injured.”
He also announced that the Rajasthan government will provide Rs 2 lakh compensation to the families of the deceased Rs 50,000 to those injured from the Chief Minister Relief Fund.