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Elephant killed by train in Assam; passengers safe

Despite efforts by rail and forest authorities to prevent elephant deaths on tracks incidents of elephants getting killed by trains have continued in Assam. Sixteen pachyderms were killed in such accidents in 2016 and last year, the toll was 12.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2018 10:57 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Guwahati
elephant,train,Assam
An elephant was killed on Wednesday morning when the Guwahati-Dibrugarh Intercity Express hit a herd crossing the railway track in Titabor of Assam’s Jorhat district.(HT File Photo/Representational Image)

An elephant was killed on Wednesday morning when the Guwahati-Dibrugarh Intercity Express hit a herd crossing the railway track in Titabor of Assam’s Jorhat district, police said.

“One coach of the train came off the tracks due to the impact of the accident. But since the train was going at a slow speed, it didn’t overturn and nothing happened to the passengers,” inspector Kalyan Gogoi, in-charge of Titabor police station, said.

Police said the incident happened around 4:30 am when a herd of elephants was trying to cross the railway track at Letekujan, nearly 311 km east from the state capital Guwahati.

Train services were affected for over three hours while the railway staff put the derailed wheels of the coach back on track.

Despite efforts by rail and forest authorities to prevent elephant deaths on tracks incidents of elephants getting killed by trains have continued in Assam. Sixteen pachyderms were killed in such accidents in 2016 and last year, the toll was 12.

In February this year, five elephants were killed when a passenger train hit a herd crossing the rail tracks in Hojai district of central Assam.

Five elephants, including a pregnant female, were killed in December last year when the Guwahati-Naharlagun Donyi Polo Express hit a herd crossing the tracks near Balipara in Sonitpur district.

Three weeks earlier, two more pachyderms were killed by a speeding Awadh Assam Express at Thakurkuchi, 19 km from Guwahati.

Wild elephants come out of forests around this time of the year in search of food and sometimes they get hit by trains while crossing tracks.

As per a 2011 census, there are 5,620 wild elephants in Assam, the highest among all the states.

First Published: Nov 21, 2018 10:52 IST