Four elephants killed in India train crash

Four elephants killed in India train crash

Four elephants killed in India train crash

The four were part of a herd that had been crossing the railway tracks as the train approached late on Saturday, about 110 miles from Guwahati, in the state of Assam. The impact of the collision derailed the engine but no passengers were injured.

Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson PJ Sharma said the pachyderms were hit by 15611 Guwahati-Silchar Fast Passenger train between stations Hawaipur and Lamshakhan under Lumding Division of NFR at around 2140 hours night.

Five elephants have reportedly died as a result of the dashing.

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Sources said that the railway officials were looking into the claims of the locals to ascertain the cause of the accident.

The wildlife activists said that accident took place at about 9.30 pm near Habaipur an area, which has been identified as an elephant corridor.

A railway line passes through 13% of the elephant corridors in the Northeast, primarily Assam.

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Locals also alleged that the train was on high speed and that the locals have also informed the nearest railway station about movement of elephants along the railway tracks.

Regional railways spokesman Pranav Jyoti Sharma told The Times of India: 'It is only because of the close co-ordination between field level officials of both the forest and railway department that many elephants were saved'. One such diversion in December a year ago saw five wild elephants being knocked down by a speeding train near a tea estate in north-central Assam's Sonitpur district. Also in November past year two elephants were killed by a train at Thakurkuchi, in the outskirt of Guwahati.

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. Despite the mortality, elephant population in Assam rose from 5,246 in 2002 to 5,719 previous year.

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