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A train driver who deliberately ran over a bear investigated in Siberia

By The Siberian Times Reporter
05 December 2014

Prosecutors studying video evidence of men shouting 'squash him!' seconds before impact with animal on track.

'We got in touch with our colleagues in Norilsk. They said the animal was alive'. Picture: Mikhail Kharchenko

Transport officials are studying video evidence uploaded from the cabin of the train, which had been travelling near the Golikovo checkpoint on the outskirts of Norilsk.

The 20 seconds-long footage shows a bear running away along the single stretch of track in front of the engine, operated by the Norilsk Nickel Mining and Metallurgical Company. Instead of slowing down and stopping, the driver speeds up and excitedly shouts expletives. 

It is unclear who was driving the train, but two male voices can be heard in the video with one saying 'squash him', and the other adding, 'f***ing squash him'!

The video attracted the attention of prosecutors in Western Siberia after it went viral on the Internet, and it is certain to anger conservationists worldwide.

Officials with the Norilsk Transport Prosecutors Office say the incident took place at about 2am on December 4.

Oksana Gorbunova, a senior aide, told the Siberian Times: 'We watched the video and it gave the impression that the train brigade deliberately sped up and didn’t try to avoid the collision. We began an investigation - and not because we feel sorry for the bear - as first and foremost we have to investigate the actions of the train crew'. 

Police have yet to find a body, and no blood was found on the track, so there are hopes that the animal somehow managed to escape at the last second.

The 'Govorit Moskva' radio station reported the bear is still alive, quoting the head of the mining company’s press service Petr Likholitov.

Mr Likholitov said: 'We got in touch with our colleagues in Norilsk. They said the animal was alive. They said that the front spade on the engine used to clean up snow simply lifted the bear and threw it to the side of the railway. Patrols found no traces of blood, so most likely the animal didn't get any serious traumas'.

There are also fears the bear limped away and will be found dead, or seriously injured, in the coming days.

Earlier reports from the local media suggest it is the same bear that residents have spotted around the city.

Normally bears hibernate at this time of the year but one has been seen a number of times, with armed police patrolling parts of the city.

Mr Likholitov added that the train drivers 'violated their code of conduct as they should have stopped the train'. 

Comments (4)

If I was judge in all this...I wouldn't be blaming the driver I'd more blame the two yobs who were shouting & encouraging him to do this vile deed. And I also...agree with Darwin...the horn should have been sounded to frighten him off the tracks.
jojnjo, Dublin
09/12/2014 00:58
The driver of the train were capable to slow down, why did he not make that? There are not too many animals anymore. We must at least try to keep them alive. The only reason to kill animalls is if you are starving and you need food, but it this case, sorry I do not understand.
john, Finland
07/12/2014 01:00
The Norilsk train crew was cheering as they deliberately ran over the young brown bear in the lights of the train.
Michael Horan, Moffat, Colorado, United States
05/12/2014 21:00
Trains are NOT able to stop quick, like cars and trucks. Maybe they could have blown the horn, to scare the bear away from the tracks.
Darwin Hardy, Hurricane, Utah USA
05/12/2014 20:15

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