Chaos as festival elephant picks up young woman and goes on rampage

Nichanat Manucham, 19, was standing in front of a ten-year-old elephant for a photo when it wrapped its trunk around her leg at a festival in Surin, northeast Thailand.

She thought the elephant, named Phan Thong, was playing but it then grabbed her body – hoisting her in the air, then trampling a nearby food stall.

Nichanat grabbed hold of the elephant’s tusks as it went berserk, clinging on for dear life and preventing the animal from flinging her around or trampling her.

The elephant – agitated by the heat and loud noise at the festival – smashed four market stalls while holding her. After a two minute rampage the young woman wriggled free from its trunk.

Miraculously, she suffered only minor grazes on her right arm and was pictured moments after smiling and talking on her mobile phone to her mother.

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