Six elephants mowed down by speeding train in Bengal
Jalpaiguri (West Bengal): Atleast Six elephants were killed when they were mowed down by an express train in the Dooars forest of West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on Wednesday.
State Forest Minister Hiten Burman said the incident happened around 5.45 pm near the Nagrakata-Jaldhaka bridge when the Guwahati-bound Kaviguru Express crushed the pachyderms.
“Six elephants have died and several other elephants are critically injured. The injured elephants have been rescued and are under treatment,” the minister said.
Unconfirmed reports said another elephant had died during treatment while 15 other elephants sustained injures.
Sources said that one of the elephants was dragged for more than 400 meters before the train came to a halt.
Burman rued that the train was travelling at a speed much higher than the limit of 40 km per hour prescribed in the area, which is part of the elephant corridor.
“We will lodge an FIR against the railway authorities. Once we get the report from the forest officials, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be intimated about the accident,” he said.
Forest officials claimed the train was travelling at a speed of over 100 km per hour.
The train has been held up at the spot till last reports came in as the bodies of some of the elephants were crushed and stuck in the tracks.
This is not the first incident where a pachyderm was killed in an accident with a speeding train as in recent past 43 elephants had been reportedly killed in a similar fashion in the Dooars forest.