An elephant died after being hit by a goods train near Ghatagon in Keonjhar district early on Thursday.

“The elephant was possibly a part of a herd. When collision took place it was isolated from the herd. The accident took place at around 4.15 a.m.,” Keonjhar Divisional Forest Officer Ajay Kumar Jena said.

The dead elephant was an adult female jumbo. The accident occurred between Nilakantheswar and Harichandanpur station.

Earlier incidents

It may be recalled here that elephants were mowed down by the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express in Ganjam district on December 30 last. Prior to that in August 2012, two elephants were killed in train accidents in Keonjhar district. As many as 12 elephants died in train accidents during the past two years.

The railway track was laid right through the forested region of Keonjhar district which has a good elephant population. About 60 to 70 km stretch of railway line in Keonjahr is considered to be vulnerable zone for elephants.

“The investigation is in preliminary stage. We have not registered a case against any person. As the investigation would progress, a case could be registered,” said Mr. Jena.