Alert railway staff saved the life of an elephant in Assam on Thursday but not before the jumbo had left scratches on the engine and was injured.
Northeast Frontier Railway officials said passenger train 75730, hauled by diesel power car (13029 and 13030) was travelling from Silghat to Guwahati on Thursday when the crew members noticed the movement of an elephant, about 65 metres ahead. The train had just entered Jakhalabandha railway station at 6.15am, after leaving Silghat at its scheduled departure time from 6am.
“The loco pilot applied the emergency brake and the train came to a dead stop just 25 metres in front of the place where the elephant was passing thereby saving its life and ensuring its safe passage,” said a statement issued by NFR on Friday.
“The section where the incident occurred is not earmarked as an elephant corridor and no information on the movement of the elephant was received by the crew member. Despite this, the loco pilot was cautious enough with a speed of about 40kmph and managed to save the elephant,” it added.
But the elephant suddenly came towards the diesel-powered car 13029 and attacked it, resulting in a few dents, scratches and a hole on the outer body of the train.
The NFR said the alertness and presence of mind of the loco pilot and the crew in acting to prevent elephant casualty had been widely appreciated and they have been recommended for an award by the general manager. The crew members are loco pilot Kanak Chandra Nath, assistant loco pilot Ravi Ranjan Kumar and guard Arun Rabha.
“The elephant was injured in its tusk and painkiller was administered. It appears to be active and healthy. We are keeping it under observation,” a forest official said.