Six migrant workers, who were walking to their homes in Bihar from Punjab, were killed and four others seriously injured when a roadways bus ran over them on the Delhi-Saharanpur Highway in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district, officials said on Thursday.
The incident took place on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday between Ghalauli check-post and Rohana Toll Plaza, about 20 km from Muzaffarnagar, Senior Superintendent of Police Abhishek Yadav said.
The bus driver has been arrested, the SSP said. Medical reports confirmed that the driver, Rajbir, was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, Station House Officer Anil Kapervan said.
The Uttar Pradesh roadways bus was returning to Agra from Saharanpur after dropping migrant labourers to their homes.
A government official in Lucknow said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the incident and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased migrants and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured.
He has also asked the Sahranpur Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the incident and fix responsibility, the spokesman said.
The chief minister has directed the officials to ensure proper treatment of the injured and arrangements for taking the bodies to Bihar, he added.
The deceased migrants were identified as Guddu, 18, from Bhojpur, Virender Singh, 28, a resident of Patna, Harek Singh, 52, his son Vikas, 22, Vasudev, 22, Harish Sahni, 42 -- all from Gopalganj, police said.
The injured were taken to hospital, they said.
The incident comes days after 16 migrant labourers, sleeping on railway lines, were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad in Maharashtra on May 8.
In another incident, eight migrant workers were killed and nearly 55 others injured when a truck in which they were travelling collided with a bus near Guna town in Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of Thursday, police said.
Earlier, police said the migrant workers were travelling in a bus.
The accident took place around 3 am when a truck carrying nearly 65 migrant labourers from Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh collided with an empty bus, which only had a driver, coming from the wrong side on Guna bypass road, Superintendent of Police Tarun Nayak said.
Eight migrant workers were killed and 55 others were injured, the official said.
Those hurt were undergoing treatment at the Guna district hospital, he said, adding that none of them sustained any serious injury.
Prima facie, it seems the carelessness of the bus driver caused the accident, Nayak said.
A case has been registered against the bus driver and further investigation is underway, he said.
The deceased were residents of Unnao and Rae Bareli districts of Uttar Pradesh, according to police.
The truck carrying the migrant labourers was going to Unnao, they said.
Guna Collector S Vishwanathan said the district administration is making arrangements to send the injured labourers home safely after they recover.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condoled the death of the migrant labourers and said he has directed the officials concerned to ensure proper treatment of the injured persons.
Policemen involved in the rescue work were later quarantined in the wake of the COVID-19 scare, a police official said.