Four elephants died when they were trapped between the fence and the tracks while the condition of the fifth one has been reported to be serious when 15611 Guwahati-Silchar fast passenger train hit the elephants. Another elephant was seriously injured. The engine of the train derailed due to the impact; no passenger was injured.
Railway officials claimed the section where the elephants were crossing was not a notified elephant corridor and that a 30 kph speed restriction had been imposed on all trains based on inputs from the Forest Department.
The incident took place at around 9:30 pm near Habaipur railway station, almost 180 km east from Guwahati.
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The engine of the train was damaged and efforts were underway to restore train services at the earliest, he said.
Forest Beat Officer of Lanka in Hojai district Prabin Saikia said that, forest staffs were engaged in duty at the area since evening and also informed the railway officials at railway station about presence of elephants at the area and asked them to control speed limit of train.
"The incident happened around 9-40 last evening and took place between Hawaipur and Lamsikham of Lumding division".
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"The 19 locations were decided at a meeting in December 21 in Lumding", a forest official said. They alleged that they tried to signal the loco pilot to slow down due to the movement of elephants.
It may be mentioned here that there has been a manifold increase in the incidents of elephant crossings during the recent past and trains are constantly slowed down whenever any information of herd movement is shared with the railway by the forest department. NF Railway has to ensure the safety of all train movements and at the same time it is ready to do all the needful for mitigating elephant mortality on railway tracks.
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