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.
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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.
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