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Pradeep Singh

Sundergarh: In a tragic incident, two elephants were killed after being hit by a goods train in Odisha's Rourkela late last night.

The goods train reportedly hit the elephants near Mahipani in Bisra region of Sundergarh district.

It is suspected that the a elephant heard might be crossing the railway tracks when the goods train hit them.

"This is an unfortunate incident. It happened at around 1 AM last night. Though it's difficult to tell the exact reason of the incident, I think diversion of the elephants' movement might have led to the accident," said Nishant Kumar, Assistant Railway Manager, Bondamunda.

Restoration works have been completed and the running of trains on the route will be resumed soon, said Kumar adding that an investigation will be done taking into account all aspects of the incident.

Around 30 staff of our department were crossing the railway track along with the elephants when the speeding train, which was running at around 100 km speed, hit the two jumbos. Though our staff tried to stop the train by giving signal, it didn't stop, said Tankadhar Behera, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Rourkela Division.

Claiming that the forest department officials have no fault in the mishap, Behera said, "During the investigation, we will look into the speed of the train as to why it didn't stop even after being given signals for the same."

Meanwhile, deaths of elephants in train accidents continue to shake Odisha. Though after several attempts are being taken by the forest and railway officials to avoid the same, noting seem to have served the purpose yet.

On December 5, Bhubaneswar-Rourkela Intercity Express hit an elephant near Gargadbahal village between Jujumura and Hatibari area of Sambalpur district killing the jumbo on the spot.

On December 20, another tusker was killed after it was run over by Puri-Surat Express train near Bhabanipali between Hatibari and Maneswar Railway stations under Sambalpur division.

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