Animals Video

By Taniya Dutta


This is the tragic moment three wild elephants and a calf were killed by a speeding goods train while crossing a railway line in search of food in India.

The herd of elephants comprising one male adult, two female adults and a baby were run over by the goods train around 4 am Monday morning near Jharsuguda district-the industrial hub of Odisha state in eastern India.

Pic By DOMINIC RODRIGOUS/ CATERS NEWS

The collision between the animals and the train was so severe that their bodies were found scattered at least 30-feet away from the tracks.

Several passenger, express and goods trains were affected after the incident because it had left tracks inoperable for a another four hours.

Wildlife officials were informed immediately who, along with the help of senior railway officials, moved the bodies of the animals using a JCB machine in two hours.

Mr Pradip kumar Dhal, Assistant Conservator of Forest for Jharsuguda Territorial Division said: “The accident is believed to have occurred at around 3.30am and 4am when a herd of elephants was crossing the railway line near Bagdihi Railway Station.

Pic By DOMINIC RODRIGOUS/ CATERS NEWS

“The adults were 20-22 year old. The area is surrounded by village forest and is an important elephant corridor.”

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, it is believed that the driver concerned possibly ignored the directive and was driving at 100kmph leading to the tragic mishap.

The forest department is now planning to file a case for negligent driving against the driver.

Mr Pradip kumar Dhal added: “Although there was no elephant movement in the area for the past three to four months, the railway authorities were duly informed to reduce train speed in that section.

Pic By DOMINIC RODRIGOUS/ CATERS NEWS

“The driver, however, wasn’t following the guideline and was driving at the speed of 100kmph.

“We have now requested the police to conduct an inquiry into the matter. We are under the process of identifying the loco pilot and his in-charge.

“Postmortem of the elephants have also been conducted but we are awaiting the report. Once the inquiry is complete and we have the report, we will take further action against the driver.”

Pic By DOMINIC RODRIGOUS/ CATERS NEWS

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.