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Train mows down jumbo in Jalpaiguri

Train mows down jumbo in Jalpaiguri

Darjeeling: An elephant was mowed down by a train in the Jalpaiguri district on Sunday night. Other elephants of the herd also sustained injuries.

The incident occurred when a herd was crossing the railway line passing through an elephant corridor in between Banarhat and Binaguri in Jalpaiguri.

The 775742 DMU train travelling from Dhubri to Siliguri Junction ran into the herd of elephants crossing over the tracks.

An elephant was mowed down by the train. Other elephants have also been injured stated local residents.

From early in the morning on Monday the forest department tried to track down the injured elephants. However,till Monday evening the search did not yield any results.

Incidentally, the speed-limit of trains passing through the forest had recently

been increased by the Railways.

With the conversion of the meter gauge to broad gauge in this area and with numerous incidents of elephants being mowed down, the Railways had brought down the speed of the trains to 25km per hour inside the forest areas.

With the controlled speed in the year 2015-2016 the number of jumbo deaths had come down to five. Following this there have been reports of two to three deaths each year.

Last month, the railways announced that during day time the speed limit of the trains would be 50km per hour during the day.

Nisha Goswami, the Divisional Forest Officer stated that the carcass of the elephant had been removed from the tracks on Sunday night itself. After a post mortem the carcass was cremated at Gorumara. "Search is on to see if any other elephant is injured," she said.

M Thakur, senior divisional commercial manager, Alipurduar said: "The accident did not occur due to the speed of the train. The herd suddenly climbed up on the tracks hence the accident could not be avoided. However we are conducting an enquiry into the incident," he added.

Meanwhile, the carcass of an adult male bison was spotted at Titli forest area in Madarihat on Monday morning. Forest officials said that it could have died from an infection. A probe is on in this regard.

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