Four elephants, including two calves, were mowed down by a train in Odisha’s Jharsuguda district at 3.30 am on Monday.
The 12810 Howrah-Mumbai Mail (via Nagpur) hit a herd of elephants searching for food in Bagdihi forest range. The accident took place between Bamra and Bagdihi stations under Chakradharpur railway division of the South Eastern Railway. The impact flung one of the calves away from the tracks, while the adults lay on the line, affecting rail traffic for four hours. Earth movers were used to clear the tracks. Around 20 trains, including the Alappuzha-Dhanbad Express, the Howrah-Ahmedabad SF Express and the Howrah-Mumbai Gitanjali Express, were stranded along the route.
The SER has ordered a divisional railway manager-level probe, while the Odisha government will also inquire the causes of the accident.
The accident has triggered a blame game between the forest and railway officials.