MUMBAI: Fifteen migrant labourers sleeping by a roadside were crushed to death on Tuesday morning by a truck near Surat in Gujarat. The incident took place near Kosamba, around 60 km from Surat.
The truck ran over the sleeping labourers, including a one-year-old girl, on Kim-Mandvi road, killing 12 on the spot. According to the local police, the injured labourers were taken to a nearby hospital. Three of the eight injured died during treatment.
The truck driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle after it hit the sugarcane hanging out of a tractor trolley coming from the opposite direction.
“The truck’s front windshield shattered on impact, which blocked the driver’s sight. The vehicle then veered off the road and ran over the sleeping labourers,” said police.
Surat superintendent of police Usha Rada said the driver, who was also injured, has been arrested and booked under sections of the IPC and Motor Vehicles Act.
Apart from a 19-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, the rest were from Banswada in Rajasthan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex gratia of `2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the families of the victims and Rs 50,000 each for the injured labourers.
“The loss of lives due to a truck accident in Surat is tragic. My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” Modi said. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the victims’ kin.
The Rajasthan government also announced financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.
The deceased were identified as Rahul Mahida (19), Manisha Mahida (19), Vanita Mahida (17), Sangeeta Vasunia (27), Champa Panda (16), Naresh Panda (25), Rajila Mahida (25), Vikesh Mahida (27), Shakan Vasunia (21), Mukesh Mahida (25), Lila Mahida (22), Anita Mahida (40), Dilip Vasania (20), Shobha Vasania (23) and one-year-old girl Tejal Mahida.