Elephant Tramples Havant Man To Death In India

20 September 2013, 18:16

A retired Hampshire teacher has been trampled to death by an elephant in India.

Colin Manvell from Havant died at the Masinagudi National Park, in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Conflicting reports have emerged about the moments leading up to Mr Manvell's death.

He was killed after failing to hear guides and other tourists shout warnings to him as the elephant approached during a trek, it was reported.

Other accounts claimed he was engrossed in his photography and did not hear two other elephants charge at him from behind.

The Foreign Office confirmed the death, saying:

"We are aware of the tragic death of a British national in southern India and we are providing consular assistance at this difficult time.''

The 67-year-old is understood to have been a retired geography teacher at Warblington School in Havant.

He also worked at the Avenue Tennis and Squash Club in the town.

Paula Fuge, personnel manager for Portsmouth Tennis Academy, who has been involved with Mr Manvell in the local tennis scene for more than 20 years, said: "He was a lovely guy.

"He has always been a part of the tennis scene, he's really nice, he was always there for the kids.

"I didn't believe it when I heard what had happened, you never expect that to happen.''

An inspector at Masinagudi police station told the Times of India that officers had not yet inspected the area where the man was killed.

He said: "We will be able to ascertain whether the place is a reserve forest area or social forestry area only after we inspect the spot where the unfortunate incident happened.

"We will inspect the place overnight and will register a case accordingly.''

Local guides sought help from the nearby Sagadevan resort, where Mr Manvell was staying.

He was treated at the local Masinagudi hospital before being transferred to Gudalur Government Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead, The Times reported.