India -- Four elephants have been killed after they became trapped on a railway line and were hit by a speeding train.
The elephants were part of a herd crossing the railroad tracks in eastern India when the express passenger train ploughed into them. Two adult female elephants and one calf were killed at the scene while another died later from its injuries.
They were hit by the Mahananda Express Passenger train early today in Jalpaiguri district, nearly 400 miles east of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state. The track, which connects Siliguri to Assam, was closed down for several hours after the collision, as other elephants were guarding the dead and injured animals.
Nearby villagers attempted to join in the rescue effort but could not save the two adult female elephants and one calf which died at the scene. A crane was even needed to remove the carcass of one of the elephants. Four elephants killed by speeding train in India.
Railway spokesman Jayant Sharma said the accident site was outside the state's elephant corridor and there was no warning from the forest department about the movement of the elephants. Dozens of elephants have died in recent years in such accidents as trains run through national parks and forests. Activists have called for trains to lower their speeds through such areas. India's wild elephant population was recently estimated at about 26,000.