Four Elephants Mowed Down By Speeding Train In Odisha’s Jharsuguda

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Jharsuguda: Four elephants were killed after being run over by a speeding train near Teldihi level crossing under Bagadihi Forest Range in Jharsuguda district in the early hours of Monday.

The incident reportedly took place around 4 pm.

According to reports, the herd comprising of a tusker, two female elephants and a calf died on the spot after being hit by the speeding train. The impact of the collision was so severe that the carcasses of the four elephants were found at least 30 feet away from the tracks, where the mishap took place.

On being informed, senior railway officials and staff from Jharsuguda rushed to the spot and removed the carcasses with the help of a crane.

Train traffic on Howrah-Mumbai down line was affected following the incident with several passenger, express and goods trains being halted at different stations. However, train services on this route resumed after an hour once the carcasses were removed, reports added.

Asked whether the Forest Department had informed the Railway authorities about the precautionary measures to be taken by train drivers while passing through this elephant corridor, Bagadihi Forest Ranger Batakrushna Sethi said the forest range office had sent a letter to the station manager concerned in this regard about three months ago.

As per the provisions, drivers, while passing through elephant corridors, should limit the train speed to 30 kmph and constantly blow horn to alert elephants crossing the railway tracks.

However, circumstantial evidence suggests that the driver concerned possibly ignored the directive, leading to the tragic mishap.

There has been no response from any Railway officials about the incident till reports last came in.

As many as 15 elephants have died after being hit by speeding trains in Odisha since April 2010. It may be recalled that a similar incident was reported from Rambha in Ganjam district in 2012 when six elephants were run over by a speeding train while crossing the railway tracks.