Guwahati: Saturday’s accident, the first of its kind this year, took place despite increased efforts by rail and forest authorities to prevent elephant deaths on tracks.
Four wild elephants were killed and another injured when a Guwahati-Silchar passenger train hit a herd crossing the rail tracks in Hojai district of central Assam on Saturday night.
The accident took place around 9:30 pm near Habaipur railway station, nearly 180 km east of the state capital.The engine of the train got disconnected from the bogies due to the impact of the hit, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Four elephants died on the spot while one injured pachyderm is battling for life.
In December, five elephants, including a pregnant female were killed when the Guwahati-Naharlagun Donyi Polo Express hit a herd crossing tracks near Balipara in Sonitpur district. At least a dozen pachyderms lost lives in train accident in the state last year, while sixteen were killed by speeding trains in the year before.
To reduce such deaths, the Northeast Frontier Railway last year started experimenting by placing a device near railway tracks which amplifies buzz of bees, hoping that elephants, which are scared of the stinging insects, will stay away from the tracks when they hear the sound.