Sunday, 18 February, 2018

Speeding train kills four wild elephants in Assam

Train services were affected in the area as the carcasses of the elephants had not yet been removed. Representational Image Train services were affected in the area as the carcasses of the elephants had not yet been removed. Representational Image
Ellis Copeland | 12 February, 2018, 03:28

The elephants were hit by the 15611 Up Guwahati-Silchar passenger train at around 9-40 pm when the herd was trying to cross the railway track.

The incident took place near the Hawaipur railway station in Nagaon district.

None of the train passengers were injured during the accident, which derailed the vehicle.

There is no report of any passenger receiving injuries.

If locals claims are taken in account, the accident spot was an identified elephant corridor.

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Mr Sharma told the Times of India that, although an investigation had been ordered, the train appeared to have been "within its stipulated speed". Train accidents, poisoning by farmers and electrocution are the main causes of elephant deaths, say forest department officials. "This incident happened only because of the railway department's negligence", the forest official said.

A North East Frontier Railway spokesman said the trains maintain a speed limit of 20 km per hour in the elephant corridors.

On December 10 past year, at least five adult elephants and a calf died after the Guwahati-Naharlagun Express hit them at Balipara in Assam's Sonitpur district.

According to the 2011 census, there are 5,620 wild elephants in Assam, the highest in the country.

There are almost 30,000 elephants in India and in 2017 an estimated 60 of the animals were killed on train tracks.

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