Two persons who came to attend a house-warming of their friend near the temple town of Guruvayur died after an elephant ran amok on Friday.
The deceased were Narayanan and Gangadharan, both NRIs working in Qatar and friends of house owner Shaiju.
The tallest tusker in the State, Thechikottukkavu Ramachandran, which has one eye blind, was engaged as part of the house-warming ceremony. It had been brought for a temple festival under Shaiju's sponsorship. It was brought from the temple to the house in procession with the accompaniment panchavadyam (a percussion). A sudden bursting of crackers nearby provoked the elephant which turned violent and ran amok.
Narayanan who was standing close to the elephant fell and the elephant crushed him to death. There was a huge crowd outside and the elephant turning violent saw people scamper for life. Gangadharan, injured in the stampede, was taken to hospital where he succumbed to injuries. Ten people suffered injuries in the melee.
A mahout finally succeeded in taming the elephant by holding on to its tail. The elephant was later taken away in a lorry.
A case under Sections -- 304(A) (causing death by negligence), 337 (causing hurt by endangering the life or personal safety of others) and 289 (negligent conduct with respect to animals) had been registered, police said.