A bus has crashed into an elephant that had escaped from a circus on to a busy highway in Mexico, killing the 5-ton animal and the bus driver, Mexican news reports say.
State officials confirmed that bus driver Tomas Lopez, 49, was killed and at least four passengers were taken to hospital after the crash.
The elephant, believed to be named Hilda and about 40 years old, broke free while being fed on Monday evening, crashed through a gate and later stumbled on to a major road north of Mexico City at around midnight.
‘I untied her so she could eat,’ Marcelino Ramos, 22, one of the animal keepers at the Circo Union circus, was quoted as saying in the El Universal daily newspaper.
‘She never did this before, but suddenly she ran at full speed and broke through the gate.’
Mexico State police spokesman Juan Sanchez said the elephant escaped from its cage at the Circo Union, but he declined to give any other details. He said officials were investigating.
Small circuses often use the name Circo Union in Mexico and it was not immediately clear which one was involved.
Last month, a 500-pound lion escaped from a private zoo owned by a local lawmaker in southern Mexico. The animal killed two dogs and a pig and attacked a woman and child on a donkey before it was sedated and caught.