Tragedy struck in Alwar, Rajasthan, India when an 82-year-old man named Shivdayal Sharma lost his life in a freak accident involving a cow and a high-speed train.
As Sharma was relieving himself on the railway tracks, a Vande Bharat express train collided with a group of cows that had wandered onto the line, causing one of the cows to be flung 30 meters into the air.
Unfortunately, this cow struck Sharma with such force that he died instantly.
While another man who was also relieving himself nearby managed to narrowly escape being hit by the flying animal, Sharma was not so fortunate.
The Vande Bharat express trains can reach speeds of up to 160kph, making it difficult to avoid such accidents.
It is a known issue along the Mumbai-Gujarat route, with reports of many run-ins with cattle.
The tragedy has led to calls for better regulation and safety measures along the train route.
Measures such as garbage and vegetation removal have begun to address the problem, but more is needed to prevent further tragedies.
The Western Railways has decided to put metal fencing along the 620km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad trunk route to prevent animals from straying onto the tracks and causing accidents.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has acknowledged that collisions with cattle on the tracks are unavoidable and has kept this in mind while designing the semi-high-speed Vande Bharat trains.
However, the rising number of accidents involving cows and trains in India indicates that more needs to be done to protect both animals and humans.
Read more about The Tragic Consequences of Keeping Chickens as Pets