Assam: 5 Elephant killed by speeding train

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

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

Four elephants died when they were trapped between the fence and the tracks while the condition of the fifth one has been reported to be serious when 15611 Guwahati-Silchar fast passenger train hit the elephants.

Four elephants were killed in Assam's Nagaon district on Saturday after being hit by a speeding train.

They alleged that they tried to signal the loco pilot to slow down due to the movement of elephants. Five elephants were killed in December in a train collision near a tea plantation in Assam.

"Our people are trying their best to prevent elephant casualties, but the railways seem to be taking such incidents lightly. I can not fault our department as the railways had been informed about the movement of elephants and forest guards had tried to warn the drivers with flashlights", Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said on Sunday. The train movement on the section was finally restored at 2 am today, he said.

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

Saturday's accident site falls under the Lanka forest range, the area's wildlife officials said. He said this also proves that there has been no joint patrolling between the forest and the railways or else the forest department would have known about the fence.

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

Due to large scale deforestation, elephants have lost their natural habitats and have been forced to come out in plain areas in search of foods.

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

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