Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Assam: Speeding train kills four wild elephants

Assam: Speeding train kills four wild elephants

A herd of the animals was crossing the railway tracks on Saturday when the train ploughed into them.

According to Chief Public Relations Officer of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), PJ Sharma, the incident took place late Saturday night near Hawaipur railway station when the Guwahati-Silchar passenger express train hit the elephant herd, killing four of them on spot. The impact of the collision derailed the engine but no passengers were injured.

"Based on inputs received from forest department a speed restriction of 30kmph had been imposed and all trains were instructed to slow down while passing by".

The incident has left Assam's Forest Minister Promila Rani Brahma fuming and she has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the tragic incident to find the details of the circumstances leading to the death of animals.

The incident took place at Hawaipur area in Karbi Anglong district and bordering area of Hojai district, about 182 km from Guwahati. Prima facie inquiry found the train was within its stipulated speed.

Both forest department and NFR conceded that because of "close" coordination between officials from two sides many imminent mishaps were averted.

On December 10 a year ago, at least five adult elephants and a calf died after the Guwahati-Naharlagun Express hit them at Balipara in Assam's Sonitpur district. Also in November past year two elephants were killed by a train at Thakurkuchi, in the outskirt of Guwahati.

Elephant deaths, due to accidents, are on the rise in Assam; the state forest department data says 110 elephants died in 2016 and 118 in 2015.

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