Jharsuguda : Four elephants were killed after being run over by a train near a level crossing under Bagadihi Forest Range area in Jharsuguda district today.
The tragedy struck when the jumbos were crossing the railway track on the Howrah-Mumbai line near Teladihi in the wee hours, said Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) P K Dhal.
Two tuskers and two female pachyderms were killed in the incident, he said, adding that jumbos often pass through the area which was an elephant corridor.
The impact of the mishap was so severe that the pachyderms were thrown away quite a distance, said an official.
Senior railway officials rushed to the site and arrangements were made for removal of the carcasses, he said.
The traffic on the Howrah-Mumbai down line was also affected following the incident. Some trains were controlled at different stations before normalcy was restored on the route, said officials.
Dhal said the forest officials had already urged the railway authorities to ensure the running of trains at slow speed in elephant corridors.
According to norms, drivers must limit the speed of trains to 30 kmph while passing through elephant corridors and constantly blow horns to alert the jumbos crossing railway tracks.
Wildlife experts and activists expressed concern over the incident and said the railways must take steps to control train speeds in identified crossing zones and prevent such incidents.