• Sunday, Apr 02, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

30 migrant workers killed in India lockdown crashes

  • Published at 06:38 am May 16th, 2020
India migrant workers killed in truck accident
Rescue workers, people stand watching as an excavator gathers the wreckage of a truck transporting goods and migrant labourers after it collided with another vehicle, in Uttar Pradesh on May 16, 2020 AFP

Cases in India rose by nearly 4,000 overnight to 85,940, eclipsing the number officially registered in China - where the pandemic started last year

At least 30 Indian migrant workers were killed Saturday in road accidents as they tried to get to return to their home villages during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, officials said.

The accidents, in central and northern India, were the latest involving some of the millions of labourers left stranded and jobless by the seven-week shutdown. 

Scores have died in road and rail accidents and even from exhaustion walking home.

In the most deadly incident, a truck carrying about 40 labourers struck another vehicle also carrying workers and their families that was parked at a roadside cafe in Uttar Pradesh, local magistrate Abishek Singh told AFP.

It is thought the driver of the truck had fallen asleep, Singh said. the vehicle was carrying lime powder which suffocated many of those who died, all of whom were men, he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident "extremely tragic" in a Twitter post and said relief work was in "full swing" at the scene.

A drunk driver was blamed for the second accident, in Madhya Pradesh, when a truck bringing labourers back from neighbouring Maharashtra state overturned, local official Shashi Mishra said.

Four of the five dead were women and 17 people were injured, he added. 

The millions of labourers, who live off subsistence wages, have become a major concern for the government as it prepares to ease the lockdown from Monday in a bid to get the economy moving again.

More cases than China

The government has responded to criticism of its handling of the migrant-labourer crisis by promising extra finance to get those stranded back home and provide food rations.

Many businesses shut down overnight after the lockdown began on March 25, leaving millions suddenly out of work.

Desperate to return to their home states, many migrants have walked hundreds of kilometres or hitched rides on trucks.

Sixteen were killed this month when a train ran over them as they slept on a railway track.

The government is also battling a surge in coronavirus cases in major cities like Mumbai and New Delhi as it prepares to ease the lockdown.

Cases in India rose by nearly 4,000 overnight to 85,940, eclipsing the number officially registered in China - where the pandemic started last year. India's death toll is 2,752, while China's stands at 4,633.

Economist Shamika Ravi, who advises the government and is a much-watched commentator on coronavirus in India has warned that the country must do more to control the outbreak in Mumbai, Delhi and other cities.

With the pandemic still weeks away from peaking, Mumbai has already run out of hospital beds to treat coronavirus patients.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan recently told AFP that India had reacted faster to the pandemic than many richer countries and controlled it better.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail