Keonjhar: In the tragic death of three elephants on NH-20 at Balijodi under Ghatagan Forest Range in Keonjhar district late on Wednesday, the Forest department has arrested the driver of a private bus from Barbil town on Thursday afternoon.
Keonjhar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Santosh Joshi told media persons that the three elephants died due to collision with a Barbil-bound private bus ‘Airabat’ from Cuttack.
He said that during scrutiny of CCTV it was learned that a speeding bus had hit the pachyderms and then sped away towards Barbil. Subsequently, the bus was seized and the driver arrested today.
The DFO said that a herd of 10 elephants was crossing the National Highway at Balijodi late in the night when the private bus hit them, killing a female elephant and a calf on the spot.
Another female elephant who sustained grievous injury died later while undergoing treatment by the veterinary team of Anandpur Animal Husbandry, he said.
The DFO further added that the driver of the private bus lost control of the vehicle after hitting the three elephants and collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction. As a result, the truck skidded from the road.