Sharmili Mallick

Two elephants were killed after being hit by a goods train near Bhusandapur Railway Station under Tangi Forest Division in Khordha district on Saturday.

According to reports, the incident took place at around 8 pm when a herd of about eight elephants was trying to cross the railway tracks near the Bhusandapur level crossing.

Officials from Tangi Forest Division rushed to the spot after receiving the information and seized the carcass of one elephant near the tracks while the other jumbo was found dead in the nearby Bhusandapur forest. 

The eyewitnesses said one elephant died on the spot while two other jumbos that sustained injuries in the mishap ran into the nearby forest. The carcass of one of the two injured elephants was recovered from the forest today morning by the forest officials.

The forest officials said that the elephant herd comprising 30-35 jumbos had moved to the forest near Bhusandapur from Chandaka forest area and often strays into the nearby farmland in night hours in search of food.

Recently, during the winter session of the Odisha Assembly, Minister for Forest and Environment, Bikram Keshari Arukha had informed that at least 406 elephants have died between 2016-17 and 2020-21. The Minister said that as many as 162 elephants died in accidents while 54 died of electrocution during these years, respectively.

Similarly, 14 elephants were mowed down by trains while four elephants were killed in road accidents, 90 lost their lives due to other reasons and 11 elephants were killed by poachers.

On the other hand, a woman was trampled to death by a tusker while her minor daughter had a narrow escape at Sanadalki village under Bonai forest range in Sundergarh district on Saturday night.