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Train runs over jumbos and derails - Young tusker’s body gets tangled in wheels

THE TELEGRAPH
July 2 , 2014

The female elephant mowed down by the train in the Madhu tea garden.

Alipurduar, July 1: Two elephants in the Dooars were mowed down today by an empty special train that derailed as the body of one of the animals got tangled in its wheels.

An adult female elephant and a young tusker were on the tracks when the special two-compartment train for the army, going from New Jalpaiguri to New Bongaingaon in Assam, came hurtling down the tracks near Madhu Tea Estate in Kalchini around 2am.

A railway official said the stretch where the elephants were run over was not in any elephant crossing zone, where train drivers are required to whistle continuously at daytime and night.

The elephant crossing zones are marked out by signposts that mention the numbers of the pillars to tell the driver about the stretch when the train must whistle.

In addition to that, all trains running between Siliguri Junction and Alipurduar Junction — a distance of 165km — must not exceed the speed of 50kmph between dusk and dawn.

These rules were made on the basis of recommendations by a joint committee of the railway and environment and forest ministries in 2007-08, following several instances of elephant deaths on north Bengal’s railway tracks.


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