Keonjhar: At least three elephants, including two calves, were killed after being hit by a goods train in Odisha’s Keonjhar district, forest officials said on Friday.
The accident took place near Bansapani under the Joda forest section of Champua range when a herd of around 20 jumbos were crossing railway tracks at around 7.30 pm on Thursday.
One elephant calf died on the spot, while a female pachyderm and another calf succumbed to their injuries this morning, a forest official said.
Following the accident, the elephant herd prevented forest officials from carrying out rescue operations, he said.
“The forest department personnel were monitoring the elephant herd movement throughout the day. The railway authorities were also informed about presence of the elephants there and speed of the train was contained at 25kmph. The accident took place due to darkness,” another senior forest official said.
Activists expressed concern over the frequent elephant deaths due to train accidents in the mineral-rich Keonjhar district.
As many as 11 elephants were killed due to train accidents and four others due to road mishaps, while 13 jumbos died of electrocution in the last eight years, they said.