An excavator clears bags of white cement scattered on a road after a truck accident near Auraiya, a village in Uttar Pradesh state, India, May 16, 2020.
An excavator clears bags of white cement scattered on a road after a truck accident near Auraiya, a village in Uttar Pradesh state, India, May 16, 2020.

At least 23 migrant workers lost their lives when the truck they were traveling collided with a standing truck on a highway in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Twenty people were injured in the accident near Auraiya village, a local magistrate said in a statement.

The migrant workers were returning from New Delhi to their villages in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal states, the statement said.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the crash.

"We are going to look into this and find out how so many people were aboard these vehicles," said Jai Narain Singh, Additional Director General of Police in Uttar Pradesh. "We are hearing that one of these trucks had started from Delhi, and the other truck had departed from Bharatpur and Jaipur. Many people are coming from various cities like this, in large numbers. We are going to investigate this so no workers face any issues like this."

Auraiya is located 230 kilometers southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

Tens of thousands of migrant workers have been returning to their home villages from big cities after layoffs because of the coronavirus lockdown imposed countrywide in late March.

The government has allowed the operation of a limited number of trains to facilitate their travel, but a large number of migrant workers are using trucks and buses, and many other are walking long distances on the highways.


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