Surat-bound Train from Puri Derails near Sambalpur

East Coast Railway’s Puri-Surat Special Express, bearing train number 02827, met with an unfortunate accident today near Sambalpur as it derailed on collision with an elephant. The tragic incident occurred early in the morning at around 2.04 am near the Hatibari and Maneswar railway stations. Both of these stations lie in the Sambalpur division.

Due to the severity of the impact, all wheels of the engine’s front trolley got derailed. A railway official said that while nobody was injured and that all passengers were safe, the elephant with which the train had collided, died. This accident is yet another rejoinder to the growing toll of elephants which meet with unfortunate train accidents. Several such instances have already been recorded in neighbouring West Bengal.

The Surat-bound train had departed from Odisha’s famous beach town Puri at around 7.45 pm in the evening on Sunday. Upon departing Hatibari, the train strolled at a speed of 50 km/h as elephant caution was already imposed for the locomotive drivers. Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Sambalpur Pradip Kumar, along with all senior officers and relief staff, have reached the spot.

An ECoR statement said that the elephant was found entangled with the engine. However, for the convenience of the passengers, a new engine was immediately dispatched post the accident and all coaches of the train were pulled back to the Hatibari station. “Only six wheels are derailed. The engine with the driver and the assistant loco pilot is safe. Forest department officers led by DFO Sanjit Kumar reached the spot and started inquiry with DRM Sambalpur and other senior railway officers,” said the ECoR.

The train will run soon after the repair of the affected engine. Puri-Durg special express was controlled at Jujomura at 2.18 am, while Koraput-Bhubaneswar special was controlled at Sambalpur at 3.20 am.

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