Like so many other tourists visiting Phuket, Swede Gustav Karlsson, 31, and his brother-in-law John, thought it would be a fun experience to go on one of Thailand’s numerous elephant rides. This trip however didn’t go quite as they had expected. Suddently the elephant went crazy and tossed the two chocked men from its back injuring both of them, reports Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
The grim accident happened Monday at Kalim Elephant Camp and could very well have ended with a tragedy. Instead Gustav escaped with two injured legs, one seriously, while his brother-in-law escaped with minor injuries. They both received treatment in Phuket International Hospital afterwards.
“The elephant went completely berserk, overturned cars, sheds and trees,” said Gustav’s wife Hanna Agnarsson to Aftonbladet after the incident. She was on the trip as well but fortunate enough to be sitting on another more calm elephant.
”My husband and John were just trying to keep themselves from falling off as best they could”, she added.
A Swedish man who witnessed the terrible event said to Aftonbladet that the mahut constantly tried to beat the elephant with his staff to get it under control, but without any luck.
The two men ended up throwing themselves desperately from the elephant’s back. One of them landed on the windshield of a car. Seconds later, the elephant threw the car down a steep slope.
”Ambulance and police came and they put my husband on a stretcher. Then the elephant suddenly came back,” Hanna said.
”All fled and Gustav had to crawl away from the bar by himself in order to get to safety. He lay on the ground screaming in pain, but no one dared to come forward and help him as long as the elephant was there,” Hanna added.
The rampage lasted about 20 minutes before the elephant calmed down.
Phuketwan reports that the elephant was male, aged 20, had tusks and was fully grown.
The incident happened at Kalim Elephant Camp in Phuket.