GUWAHATI: In a tragic incident on Thursday evening, a wild elephant crossing the railway tracks in Assam's Hojai district was killed after being hit by a goods train.
According to official sources, the incident took place when the elephant tried to cross the railway track.
The place near Hawaipur in Hojai district, where the incident occurred, is located near an elephant corridor and trains are required to slow down. The cement- laden goods train was reportedly travelling at more than the recommended speed when the tragedy occurred, according to local people who had gathered at the site of the incident.
Locals raised their ire at the Railway authorities for failing to install protective fencing by the railway tracks, in spite of the area being known as an elephant corridor. Although a maximum speed limit of 40 km/hr was fixed for that stretch of tracks, the drivers of the trains did not adhere to the limit most of the time, the villagers alleged.
A passenger train, arriving at the spot some time later, stopped and the train's crew and passengers checked out the dead elephant lying beside the railway tracks.
The driver of the goods train was also held responsible by Assam Forest officials, stating that they were present at the spot upon receiving information about a wild elephant seen near the tracks and had tried to signal the driver by using flashlights. However, they said, the driver of the goods train did not reduce speed and rammed into the elephant, causing its death almost instantly.
Sabyasachi De, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of NF Railway, told ANI that the incident took place near Hawaipur in Hojai district at around 6.20 pm on Thursday when the elephant tried to cross the railway track.
"The elephant was hit by a cement-laden goods train. After getting dashed, the elephant fell down on the track," the NF Railway CPRO said.
A post- mortem of the dead elephant is being arranged.