The North East Frontier Railway has instituted a 4 member inquiry committee following the death of two elephants after colliding with 12436 Up Rajdhani Express between Dimapur and Khatkhati railway stations of Lumding Division last night. The two elephants were killed in a corridor designated for the animal near Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub, early on Tuesday. The incident happened at about 12.25 am when the New Delhi-Diburgarh Rajdhani Express ran into a herd of elephants. Two female elephants of the herd, one about five years old and the other 15, were killed. The accident took place at Khatkhati in Golaghat district, which is about 270 kms from Guwahati.
The inquiry committee
The inquiry committee will have the Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, Senior Divisional Engineer, Senior Divisional Safety Officer of Lumding Division and a representative of the Forest Department of Assam as members. The General Manager of N. F. Railway Shri Chahatey Ram ordered formation of the inquiry committee this morning after discussion with the Minister of State for Railway Rajen Gohain. Meanwhile, forest minister of Assam, Pramila Rani Brahma reacting on the incident, said, ‘We have asked the district officials to ensure elephants can use their traditional corridors without any harm. We will take up the train speed aspect with the railway authorities.’
Meanwhile, clarifying about the incident, Pranav Jyoti Sharma, CPRO, N.F.Railway stated in a press release, ‘The permissible speed in the section 100 kmph and the train was running well within the permissible speed. However, owing to the huge momentum of a moving train, it is not possible to stop a train even after sighting elephants on track. Sudden application of brakes may lead to derailment of the train which would endanger the lives of passengers.’
Soon after the accident, train no. 12436 Up Rajdhani Express was brought back to Dimapur and other trains in the section were stopped at different stations. The track was cleared at 4.25 A.M this morning after which normal train movement resumed.