A male elephant suffered injuries after being hit by an express train near Pudupatti under Madukkarai forest range in Coimbatore on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, while crossing a railway track in the wee hours of Monday. The elephant, aged about 20, was hit by the Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai Express from behind around 1.30 am, despite the driver applying brakes on noticing the pachyderm, railway sources said.
In the impact of the accident, the elephant was severely injured and thrown on the ground.
The driver immediately alerted railway personnel and a few locals rushed to the spot to help, on hearing the noise. The railway personnel also informed the Forest Department and veterinary doctors.
Assisting the jumbo, two veterinarians found injuries in the front leg, abdomen and rear part of the elephant, which was lying on one side after falling to the ground under the impact of the accident. The veterinarians also administered first aid.
However, the elephant was unable to move due to pain. Efforts were being taken to use a crane to requisition and lift the elephant, and assess the injuries on the other side. The doctors are mulling to provide further treatment after identifying the injuries.
It was suspected that the elephant could have come to the area after taking bath and drinking water in Walayar river in Kerala.
The residents alleged that the train drivers sometimes do not slow down, despite a warning board in the area, particularly in the Walayar-Ettimadai railway section, to move slowly in view of crossing of elephants especially in the early hours of the day, to avoid such accidents.
Till now, nearly 30 elephants were killed in this stretch in the last 20 years due to mishaps. Of the 30, six elephants died in 2019 within a period of 20 days, in and around Madukkarai area, PTI reported.
(With inputs from PTI)