A female elephant was hit by a goods train between Basantpur and Keonjhar railway stations near Rachandrapur village on Wednesday night.

The elephant died on the spot.

It is learnt that the railway control room Khurda had issued a caution notice on the movement of elephants in the region to restrict speed. The caution was to reduce speed to 50 kmph and also sound the longhorn.

The incident took place at around 9.55 pm Wednesday night when a herd of 10 elephants were crossing the railway tracks near Ramachandrapur village under Sadar forest range and the empty goods train was heading towards Nayagarh from Jakhapura.

While nine other jumbos had a narrow escape in the incident, one female elephant was hit by the train, Keonjhar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Santosh Kumar Joshi said.

The DFO said that all protocols regarding the movement of elephants near railway track were followed and same was intimated to the railways.

The caution order to restrict the train speed due to possible movement of wild elephants from 7 pm till 6 am next day was conveyed to the Elephant Control Room, Khurda at about 6.20 pm on November 21.

The railways was told to restrict the train speed to 50 kmph and long blow horn were imposed, but it is not sure whether the loco pilot has followed the caution order to restrict the speed of the train which is yet to be enquired by the railways, the DFO said.

Meanwhile, the Forest department booked the train driver for dereliction in duty as they had earlier cautioned the railways about the movement of elephants in the area. The loco pilot was released on bail.

“Investigation into the matter is going on,” the DFO added.

In April this year, four elephants were killed after a train hit them in Jharsuguda district.

 

(With input from agencies)