Fifteen migrant labourers, sleeping near the road, were crushed to death this morning by a truck in a tragic incident near Gujarat's Surat. A baby girl also died in the tragedy.
The incident took place early this morning near Kosamba village, around 60 km from Surat, police said. A dumper truck ran over the sleeping labourers on the Kim-Mandvi road killing 12 on the spot.
Some injured labourers have been taken to a nearby hospital. Three of the eight injured died during treatment taking the total fatalities to 15, police said.
The truck driver apparently 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 labourer," Surat SP Usha Rada told news agency PTI. The driver has been arrested and charged, PTI reported. He was also injured in the crash and is being treated at the hospital.
One victim, 19, was from Madhya Pradesh; the rest of the victims were from Banswada in Rajasthan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief at the incident and his office tweeted: "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 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: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 19, 2021
PM Modi also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims and Rs 50,000 for each injured labourer. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the victims' families.
(With inputs from PTI)