Rush for free meat after train hits buffalo herd

NAKHON SAWAN: Local residents rushed to harvest the fresh meat after a passenger train from Chiang Mai ploughed into a herd of water buffaloes early Wednesday night, killing 21 of them.

Some of the train’s wheels jumped the tracks during the multiple collisions, blocking the Chiang Mai-Nakhon Sawan line. The tracks were cleared and services resumed shortly before midnight, the State Railway announced.

No passengers or crew were injured, only the buffaloes. (continues below)

A local man contemplates a couple of the buffaloes. Local residents were quick to the scene to butcher the animals. (Photo by Chalit Pumruang)

The train had left Pak Nam Pho railway station and was about 2 kilometres short of Nakhon Sawan station when it ran into the middle of the herd as it wandered across the line.

A total of 21 buffaloes were killed, their bodies scattered alongside the tracks. The force of the crash  caused four wheels of the train to derail. Ten railway sleepers were damaged.

The crash delayed the train for almost four hours as railway workers had to remove many dead buffaloes blocking the line, repair the sleepers and lift the train back on the rails. 

On Thursday morning, many local residents were at the scene, butchering the carcasses of the dead buffaloes and taking home the meat.

Nobody had admitted ownership of the buffaloes.

Pol Maj Wichaiyut Kesornsit, of Nong Pling police station, said investigatorswere sure the animals were from a buffalo farm in the area. However, the farm operator insisted they were not from there. 

Local residents also remained tight-lipped regarding the owner, but police said they were preparing to press  charges against him for allowing the animals on the tracks.

He was identified only as “Sia Hua”, a wealthy Chinese man.

Four wheels of this passenger train jumped off the tracks when it ran into a herd of buffaloes early Wednesday night, blocking the line. Train services to Nakhon Sawan resumed in the early hours of Thursday. (Photo by Chalit Pumruang)

Carcasses of some of the buffaloes lie scattered near the tracks. (Photo by Chalit Pumruang)

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