Written by Staff Writer
08 Oct, 2018 | 8:00 am
Colombo (News1st): Four wild elephants including an 80 days old unborn elephant died on Sunday (October 07) after they were run over by the night mail train plying from Batticaloa to Colombo Fort.
The incident occurred around 9.40 PM yesterday (October 06) near the 178th-milepost in close proximity to the Welikanda railway station, while a herd of elephants were crossing into the Maduru Oya sanctuary from the Thrikona Madu sanctuary.
The elephants were aged around 15, 8 and 7 years. The engine and three other compartments of the train were derailed as a result. The News1st correspondent in the area said the Department of Railways had allocated buses to send the passengers to their destinations.
Four elephants died in a similar incident on the 18th of last month in the Puvakpitiya area between the Palugaswewa and Gal Oya Railway Stations.
Dr. Iresh Perera, of the Committee for the prevention of accidents involving trains & elephants, said they have engaged on an inspection tour in areas beyond Mahawa from the 11th to the 15th and inspected over 600km of railway tracks where there are high-risk areas adding that they hope to identify all of it and provide sustainable solutions.
According to him, the places where the elephant cross should be located and signal boards should be placed at a distance where the engine drivers can apply the breaks and the crossings should be developed so that the elephants can cross underneath.
Dr. Iresh Perera said in the next one and a half years they will be able to make this a country that does not have accidents involving elephants and trains.
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