Indian railway officials have refused requests for years that it slow its trains moving through the famed corridor for elephant migration in the Chapramari forest in eastern India. Now, in a single accident, a train has killed seven elephants (including two calves) and injured ten others. The railway officials have yet to agree to the slower speeds even as workers try to clean up from the carnage.
The train was travelling at 50mph (80kph) through the Chapramari forest when it struck the herd of 40 elephants crossing the tracks at dusk. Forest officials have said that their continued demands to slow the train have been dismissed by railway officials. Just last December, five elephants were killed in a single incident. In all, at least 50 elephants have been killed since 2004 by trains.
It is astonishing that this situation is allowed to continue or that these railway officials are not subject to sanctions for their refusal to reduce the speed of these trains.
By the way, the mascot for the Indian railways is . . . you guessed it: