India, May 8 -- A group of factory workers on a 36-hour journey by foot in Maharashtra to catch transport back to their hometown in Madhya Pradesh, fell asleep exhausted after walking along the tracks since they thought there would be no trains running, the safety regulator of the railways said on Friday, calling for new protocols for engineers and field staff to report any instance of people walking on tracks so that other trains can be warned.

The victims were workers at a steel factory in Maharashtra's Jalna. After covering 36km on Thursday, they slept on the railway tracks where they were run over in the early hours of Friday -- 16 of the 20 people in the group died on the spot, where images showed a trail of scattered luggage and food...