Elephants in a religious parade stampeded through a crowd, injuring 17
At least 17 people were injured after two elephants became restless and stampeded down a street during a religious parade in Sri Lanka.
The incident happened during the perahera of the Kotte Rajamaha Viharaya temple — the first procession of the Sacred Tooth Relic — in Kotte, an area near Colombo, Sri Lanka’s de facto capital and largest city.
The elephants were part of the procession when one got distressed and began to get restless, according to local news source Adaderana. Then the second elephant began to exhibit signs of restlessness after seeing the first in distress.
Video captured one of the frightened elephants running through the crowd, trampling those in its path. According to the news source, twelve of the seventeen people injured are women.
The parade is an annual Buddhist processional that marks important moments in Buddha’s life, and its ceremonies are known for being elaborate and highly decorated.
The precession finished as planned. It isn’t clear what caused the animals to run.