Lockdown: 30 migrant workers killed in crashes  

At least 30 migrant workers were killed Saturday in road accidents as they tried 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 shut-down.

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.

At least 25 were killed and 30 injured.

“It is thought the driver of the truck had fallen asleep.

The vehicle was carrying lime powder which suffocated many of those who died, all of whom were men,” Singh said.

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.

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