Four wild elephants, including two females and a calf, were Monday killed after a gods train hit them as they were crossing the railway tracks near Bagdihi forest range in Jharsuguda district.
The mishap took place early in the morning while the elephant herd was trying the cross over the railway track in search of food.
Sethi said the railway department had been asked to reduce the speed of trains while crossing the forest range.
On being informed, forest officials rushed to the spot and removed the carcasses from the track using JCBs. "While forest department appears to be not honest in identifying sections in which elephant movements are frequent, trains continue to move fast through elephant corridors", Biswajit Mohanty, environmentalist and former member of National Board for Wildlife, said.
He demanded that responsibility should be fixed on both forest and railway authorities.
Railway traffic on Howrah-Mumbai down line got disrupted for four hours because of the incident.
According to a forest department official, around 70 elephants died in 2017 in the area due to electrocution, speeding trains, poisoning, human attacks, and other accidents. Trains including Bokaro-Allepy Express, Tapaswini Express were halted at Jharsuguda Station.
He further added that all the four elephants died at the spot. In Odisha, over 15 elephants have been killed by speeding trains since 2010.
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