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Train mishap leaves 6 jumbos dead

Bhubaneswar: In yet another shocking incident for pachyderm lovers, six jumbos including two calves died after being hit by a speeding train near Rambha in Ganjam district on late Saturday night.

The herd was hit by Chennai bound Howrah-Chennai Coromandel SF Express at around 1am near Subalaya, forest officials said.

The nerve shattering incident has also left one Railway employee dead though reason of the death is yet to be ascertained. Locals say, the deceased, guard of the train lost control and fell off the moving train when the train hit the herd.

Meanwhile forest and railway officials have arrived on the spot and started investigation. The train which also sustained damage, was detained on the spot, while rail services between Berhampur and Bhubaneswar were affected for some time. It took over seven hours to restore normalcy in train services on the busy route, East Cost Railway (ECoR) sources said at Bhubaneswar.

Post-mortem of the carcasses was done by forest officials in order to ensure resumption of normal rail traffic, said a senior forest officer.

Expressing a deep concern over the incident, state Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray has called an urgent meeting with senior Railway officials on Monday to discuss on the rising jumbo death issue in state. “If required we’ll bring the matter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's notice and urge him to write a letter to the Union Ministry of Railways to take immediate decision in this regard,” Routray said.

Earlier on August 16, two jumbos were killed as a goods train rammed the elephants in Keonjhar district while crossing railway track.

Odisha has become a veritable graveyard for elephants as 252 pachyderms were killed in state during 2009 and Aug’12, official figures show.

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