One tusker killed, another injured in train mishap
An elephant was killed and another injured after they were hit by a train at Panijhora in Buxa Tiger Reserve in Dooars on Wednesday night. The railway line that runs from Siliguri to lower Assam passes through the forest area.
According to Bengal forest department sources, around seven wild elephants was crossing over the railway tracks on Wednesday night when Danapur-Kamakhya Express hit them at Panijhora forest, a few kilometres before Rajakhatkhawa railway station.
Sources said an elephant calf got stuck under the train and the other fell beside the railway tracks. The train stopped immediately after the incident. After getting information, senior officials from the Alipurduar rail division and foresters from the Buxa Tiger Reserve rushed to the spot. Train services on the route, which is mostly used for operating goods trains to Assam, came to a grinding halt.
Foresters said the calf died on Thursday but they were still looking for the injured the elephant.
Foresters alleged that the train was moving at a high speed without blowing its horn continuously as advised while passing through the forest stretch. But Alipurduar rail division maintain that the train was running at 40 km speed and the driver could not avoid the accident as the elephant herd came suddenly on the tracks from dense forest.
Within a month, three elephants were killed in train accident in north Bengal.
On December 14, an elephant was killed between Gulma and Sevoke stations in the outskirts of Siliguri after being run over by a Dinhata-Siliguri Junction passenger train. Prior to this, a full-grown elephant was mowed down by a train near Alipurduar Junction railway station on November 22.