Wild elephant hit by moving train in north Bengal, critically hurt
Darjeeling: In yet another tragic train-elephant collision, a wild elephant was hit by a moving train while it was crossing a railway track that lies between Banarhat and Nagrakata rail line of West Bengal on Friday morning.
As per sources, the 75741 SGUJ-DBB Siliguri-Dhubri Intercity-Express was on its way to New Jalpaiguri railway junction when it hit the jumbo as it was crossing the tracks that lie in a major elephant corridor falling on the route.
A heart-wrenching video that has surfaced on various social media platforms showed the critically injured elephant trying hard to drag itself out of the railway track, as people watch in helplessness, after being hit by the engine of the intercity express. The 45-second-long video that was widely shared on social media platforms has left people in a state of shock.
On the other hand, the iron frame of the train’s engine was completely bent and damaged in the accident which itself depicts the impact of the collision. The driver of the intercity express who sustained severe injuries was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital.
Notably, the Banarhat-Nagrakata route of West Bengal has been notorious for elephant deaths ever since the railway line was converted to broad gauge. The railway track passes through a major elephant corridor and trains plying through it end up hitting or killing wild tuskers every now and then.
Speaking to the media, Northeast Frontier Railway Alipurduar Divisional manager CV Raman said that the line was converted from meter gauge to broad gauge in 2004 and since the numbers of train plying through it has increased, it has finally led to the increase in the number of elephant deaths in the past few years.
“We have imposed a 24-hour speed restriction along a 15-km stretch of the railway route inside the forest area,” the railway official added.
Despite repeated attempts by the railway authorities with frequent checks and restrictions on speed limits inside the forest area, the train route has been vulnerable to train-elephant collision over the years and is still reported very often.