Elephants hit and killed by passenger train in India

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 were killed and two injured after a train hit a herd in Assam on Saturday night, IANS reported. The impact of the collision derailed the engine but no passengers were injured.

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

The incident took place at Hawaipur area in Karbi Anglong district and bordering area of Hojai district, about 182 km from Guwahati.

If locals claims are taken in account, the accident spot was an identified elephant corridor.

A special train has been sent from Lumding, to help the stranded passengers, an official of Northeast Frontier Railway said. "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. Though the NFR said Saturday's tragedy did not happen in one of them, forest officials said they submitted a list of 19 places along railway tracks where elephants have been moving across tracks constantly in Lumding, Hojai and Lanka forest ranges.

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.

He told the newspaper: "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".

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 reports, over 150 wild elephants have died unnaturally in Assam between 2013 and 2017.

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