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Thu Mar 05 00:44:55 SAST 2015

Indian train mows down five elephants

Sapa-AP | 30 December, 2012 09:21
An Indian elephant that was killed by a train. File picture.
Image by: UTPAL BARUAH / REUTERS

A passenger train has plowed into and killed five elephants of a herd crossing railroad tracks in eastern India.

R.N. Mohapatra, a railroad spokesman, says the train struck the animals early Sunday in the Rambha forest area, about 180 kilometers (110 miles) south of Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state.

J.D. Sharma, chief conservator of the state's wildlife department, accused the railroad authorities of ignoring his department's warning that trains should slow down because a herd of elephants was moving in the area.

Mohapatra said the warning came too late.

Dozens of elephants have died in India in recent years after being struck while crossing railroad tracks that often run through national parks and forests.

India's wild elephant population was recently estimated at about 26,000.

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