September 27, 2016 12:00:54 am
A female elephant and a calf were killed when they collided with the engine of an Express train near Gangaghat railway station in Ranchi early Monday morning. The wildlife team has been rushed to the spot. Rail traffic was disrupted for a short while, but has been resumed.
According to railway officials, the incident occurred around 5.30 a.m., when 13404 Vananchal Express, from Bhagalpur to Ranchi, was nearly 30 km from its terminal destination. The incident occurred between Gautam Dhara and Ganga ghat railway stations.
“An elephant and its calf came on the track suddenly and the driver could not brake in time. Under the impact, the elephants got flung on the loop line. The train stopped, leading to some disruption in movement for some time. However, since the main line remained unaffected, the traffic was resumed. A team of our officials has reached the spot,” said a South-Eastern Railway spokesperson.
Divisional Forest Officer (Ranchi) R L Bakshi said: “From initial reports, the two elephants to die was a fully grown female elephant and a calf. The calf did not appear to be more than a fortnight old. Our team has been rushed to the spot.”
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Bakshi added that the two elephants were part of a herd of around 14 elephants moving in the area. “It appears that most of the herd had crossed the track. It is possible that the calf, somehow, remained behind and the female elephant, most probably calf’s mother, was trying to take him along when the incident occurred. It is not clear whether they were stuck on the track. Further probe is required. We will also inspect the terrain and look into the possibility of taking measures to prevent such incidents in future,” he said.
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