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Chennai-bound Coromandel Express kills 6 elephants

Bhubaneshwar: A passenger train has plowed into and killed six elephants of a herd crossing railroad tracks in Odisha.

RN Mohapatra, a railroad spokesman, says the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express struck the animals early Sunday in the Rambha forest area, about 180 kilometers south of Bhubaneshwar.

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JD Sharma, chief conservator of the state's wildlife department, accused the railroad authorities of ignoring his department's warning that trains should slow down because a herd of elephants was moving in the area.

Mohapatra said the warning came too late.

Dozens of elephants have died in recent years after being struck while crossing railroad tracks that often run through national parks and forests.

India's wild elephant population was recently estimated at about 26,000.

AP