Two wild elephants died and another was injured when they dashed against a train engine in Assam’s Nagaon district, a railway official said.
“The light engine of a train was going to Jamunamukh station from Kampur station early on Saturday. A herd of wild elephants was passing in the area and two elephants died on the spot and another wounded after dashing with the engine,” said Northeast Frontier Railways; (NFR) chief public relations officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma.
He said that the engine was also damaged and had to be moved by bringing another relief engine.
Senior NFR and forest officials have immediately rushed to the spot. The track was cleared after getting permission.
Sharma said that on noticing a herd of elephant in nearby area, railway authorities imposed a speed restriction of 30 kmph in that area.
He however noted that the incident occurred at a place which was not a elephant corridor notified by the Assam Forest Department, and was, in fact, 13 km away from the area where caution had been advised.
Sharma said that the issue is being monitored at the highest level by the Forest Department and the railways.
“Coordination mechanisms have been put in place where the location of the elephant herds is provided by the Forest Department to the railways. Railways in turn runs its trains at a lower speed in those areas,” he added.
The railway authorities and Forest Department have also sought help from the NGOs like the WWF and other organisations to provide details of movements of the elephant herds straying out large distances from the forest reserves.