Dhenkanal: A cow elephant was killed after being hit by a goods train on the tracks between Pasasingh and Kaunriapal under Sadar police limits of this district Thursday morning.
Locals said the animal aged 25 was crossing the tracks when it was hit by a Talcher-bound goods train from Dhenkanal. However, a tusker and a calf had a close shave as they managed to cross the track.
The impact of the mishap was so severe that the animal was pushed against an electricity box near the track and was thrown off to a distance of 50 metres before it died. The electricity box was also badly mangled.
Forest department personnel reached the spot and launched an investigation into the incident. A postmortem was conducted on the carcass before it was buried at the spot
Observers termed the animal’s death as a lapse on the part of the forest department officials.
Divisional forest officer (DFO) Sudarshan Patra has informed reporters that the caution notice about the presence of elephants near the track was not sent to the East Coast Railways, Khurda, until Wednesday evening.
Consequently, the train did not slow down when the animals were crossing the track. Sources said, a tusker, a female elephant and a calf had crossed river Brahmani and reached the tracks to enter the Matharagadi jungle close to the National Highway-55. This is the second incident of elephant death in a train mishap while another pachyderm had died in December last year at Gengutia. Animal lovers have expressed concern over the death of two elephants within a week in the month of June. Another elephant had died June 12.