Four wild elephants killed by speeding train in Assam

Four elephants killed after being hit by train as they crossed the tracks

Four elephants killed after being hit by train as they crossed the tracks

Guwahati: At least four elephants were killed and two others injured in Assam after a train hit a herd trying to cross railway tracks late on Saturday.

Though the NF Railways says the incident took place at a location where there was no notified elephant corridor, the forest department has already given them a list of 19 locations in three forest ranges where elephants often move on the tracks.

The incident took place at Hawaipur area in Karbi Anglong district and bordering area of Hojai district, about 182 km from Guwahati.

Locals have claimed that the accident spot was an identified elephant corridor. After hitting the elephants, the engine of the passenger train derailed.

Seventy elephants had lost their lives previous year due to electrocution, speeding trains, poisoning, human attacks, and other accidents besides natural death, a forest department official said.

Another elephant was seriously injured in the accident, he added. The department, along with North East Frontier Railways, has organised awareness camps for train drivers to tackle situations arising out of elephant movement near railway tracks.

The engine of the train was damaged and efforts were underway to restore train services at the earliest, he said.

On November 19 a year ago, two adult elephants were killed after being hit by speeding train near Thakurkuchi railway station located close to Guwahati. However based on inputs received from forest department a speed restriction of 30 kmph had been imposed and all trains were instructed to slow down while passing by issuing caution order to the loco pilots. According to the NFR, incidents of elephant crossings have increased sharply in the recent past and trains have been slowed down whenever the Forest Department shared information on herd movement.

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