Three killed by elephant at temple festival in Kerala

April 23rd, 2008 - 10:10 pm ICT by admin  

Thrissur (Kerala), April 23 (IANS) An elephant gored to death three people, including a woman, during a temple festival in Kerala’s Thrissur district Wednesday afternoon. The incident took place at Koodalmanikyam Temple at Irinjalakkuda, around 20 km from here.

The elephant, named Thiruvalla Unnikrishnan, also caused extensive damage to the temple. The police identified two of those killed as Kausalya, 75, and Nidheesh, 20. “The third person’s identity is yet to be confirmed. His face was crushed beyond recognition,” an official at Irinjalakkuda police station said.

Four persons were injured in the stampede when terrified devotees rushed out of the temple premises to escape the rampaging elephant. The elephant reportedly turned violent after someone caught its tusk.

The jumbo, which continued the rampage for about two hours, was calmed down by the mahouts and chained.

The elephants were gathered for the temple festival, which opened Tuesday amidst much fanfare. The festival also drew a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.

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