Bhubaneswar, Dec 30 (IANS) At least six elephants were killed after being hit by a train in Odisha's Ganjam district Sunday, officials said. A coach attendant also died after he reportedly fell off the train.
The Chennai-bound Coromandel Express hit a herd of elephants between Rambha and Huma stations, about 150 km from here, an official of the East Coast Railway told IANS.
As many as six elephants, including two calves, were killed on the spot, the official said, adding that the forest department and railway officials have arrived at the gory accident site.
A coach attendant of the train was also found dead but the reason has not been ascertained yet. Most probably he died after falling off the train on impact with the tuskers, the official added.
Odisha's Chief Wildlife Warden J.D Sharma said the tragic incident occurred due to negligence of the railways. He said the railways pay no heed to the information provided by the forest and wild life officials.
Sharma said the railways had been informed in advance that elephants might cross the track around midnight.
The railway official refuted the allegation.
"We received the information exactly at the time when the accident occurred. Had the forest officials given the information a little earlier, the mishap could have been averted," he said.