The presence of mind displayed by loco pilots saved a tusker from getting hit by a train in West Bengal recently. A video of the incident was shared on social media by the Twitter account of the Alipurduar division of Indian Railways. The timely action of the loco pilots had the Internet applauding them and praising their presence of mind. In the video, the elephant is seen standing dangerously close to the tracks. In the clip, you can hear a voice saying “Haathi, haathi (Elephant, elephant)” as the train slows down.
Over the next few seconds, the majestic animal stands in the same spot before turning around and making its way into the thick shrubbery leading to the jungle. Sharing the video, the tweet said, “While working 03150 – Alipur Duar Sealdah KanchanKanya Special at 17.45 hours today, alert LP Sri D.Dorai and ALP Sri P. Kumar noticed one tusker adjacent to track at KM 72/1 between Nagrakata-Chalsa and applied emergency brake to control the train and save it.”
The incident occurred in the Jalpaiguri district in North Bengal. Shared on August 25, the video has recorded over 11,000 views so far and elicited a range of responses from viewers.
Twitter users were quick to drop comments praising Mr Dorai and Mr Kumar for their timely action. “The loco pilots have been trained to be sensitive to their presence close to the track and maintain a safe distance till the elephant (s) disperse from the track,” a user said.
“I am from Alipurduar so I still remember the accident where many elephants died. Actually, it was happening quite often then. But now the situation has completely changed,” said another viewer.
“Very well done. Heartfelt appreciation to this act of courage and compassion,” read another comment.
“True gentlemen in every sense of the word,” a user said, referring to the loco pilots.
“Many wishes to the entire team, especially the pilot who took the immediate response,” another comment said.
Earlier, in April this year, a similar intervention by loco pilots in North Bengal saved the lives of an elephant and a calf.
A clip shared online showed the loco pilots spotting the elephants and immediately slowing the train, only to halt it. They waited as the elephants made the safe passage.