Animals killed in train accident in Tamil Nadu

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Coimbatore, Feb 4: A pregnant pachyderm was killed along with two elephants when they were hit by a train passing between Pothanur and Madhukkari Station, about 20 kms from the city, in the early hours today A Railway official told to the sources the Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) was on way to Palakkadu from Erode, when it ran into the herd at 0130 hrs between Pothanur and Madhukkari. In the impact, the pregnant elephant delivered a calf which, too, died on the spot.

Two compartments and the motor coach derailed. However, the two passengers and five Railway officials in the train escaped unhurt.

Due to derailment, six trains including Train No 6041 Chennai- Aleppy, Train No 2601 Chennai-Mangalore and Train No 2096 Trivandrum -Chennai suffered a delay of more than an hour.

The authorities immediately swung into action. Normalcy will be restored this afternoon, he added.

Forest Department Veterinarian N S Manoharan said the post-mortem would be conducted at the accident spot for the three pachyderms and the carcass burnt. The pregnant elephant was due for delivery in a week, he said adding a meeting between Railway and Forest Department Officials will be convened soon to discuss measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.

Forest officials have been spending sleepless nights for the last one month as three wild elephants strayed from the elephant corridor.

They were wandering in Sulur, Kuniamuthur, Madhukkarai, Kalakkal and other areas in the outskirts of the city.

Kumkis (trained elephants) were used twice to chase them into the Madhukkari Forests.

Again they came back to the residential area few days back. This time, the Forest Department staff used crackers to turn them away.

But the animals once again returned to the city last night only to lose life in the tragic incident.

UNI

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