The NF Railway instituted a four-member joint enquiry with the State Forest Department into the death of two elephants in an accident involving 12436 Up Rajdhani Express between Dimapur and Khatkhati railway stations of Lumding Division last night. The enquiry 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 Chahatey Ram ordered formation of the enquiry committee this morning after discussion with the Minister of State for Railway Rajen Gohain. The Minister has termed the accident unfortunate and assured to take all preventive steps to avoid further such incidents based on the enquiry report.
It may be mentioned that two female elephants of a herd aged about 5 years and 15 years dashed against the Dibrugarh-bound Rajdhani Express about four kilometer from Dimapur railway station (about 264 km from Guwahati) at around 12.25 A.M. last night while trying to cross the railway track.
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.
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
It is to be mentioned that although the area between railway kilometer 263/3 to 265/1 is a notified elephant corridor for the movement of pachyderms between Karbi Anglong hills and Nagaland, this is the first time that such a dashing has taken place .