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Four wild elephants killed by speeding train in Assam

12 pachyderms lost lives in train accident last year in the state, which has highest number of elephants in the country.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2018 10:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Man-animal conflict,Elephant killed,Train accident
A woman offers flowers on the carcass of an elephant killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam last year. (AP File Photo )

Four wild elephants were killed and another injured when a Guwahati-Silchar passenger train hit a herd crossing the rail tracks in Hojai district of central Assam on Saturday night.

The accident took place around 9:30 pm near Habaipur railway station, nearly 180 km east of the state capital.

The engine of the train got disconnected from the bogies due to the impact of the hit, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Four elephants died on the spot while one injured pachyderm is battling for life.

Saturday’s accident, the first of its kind this year, took place despite increased efforts by rail and forest authorities to prevent elephant deaths on tracks.

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

At least a dozen pachyderms lost lives in train accident in the state last year, while sixteen were killed by speeding trains in the year before.

To reduce such deaths, the Northeast Frontier Railway last year started experimenting by placing a device near railway tracks which amplifies buzz of bees, hoping that elephants, which are scared of the stinging insects, will stay away from the tracks when they hear the sound.

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

First Published: Feb 11, 2018 10:58 IST