Train mows down 7 elephants in West Bengal

  • AP, Kolkata
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2013 13:29 IST

An official says a passenger train has killed seven elephants and injured another 10 of a herd crossing railroad tracks in eastern India.

West Bengal state forestry minister Hiten Burman said Thursday that the train traveling at 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour) plowed into a herd of nearly 40 elephants in Chapramari forest in Jalpaiguri district on Wednesday evening.

Burman says railway authorities have ignored requests from his department to have trains travel at slower speeds in the elephant corridor.

Dozens of elephants have died in India in recent years after being struck while crossing railroad tracks that run through national parks and forests.

India's wild elephant population was recently estimated at about 26,000.

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