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Tourist bus instantly kills eight-year-old elephant Plai Udom, drags body for 100 feet

The 8-year-old elephant, named Plai Udom and believed to be from the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, had escaped from its jungle enclosure and wandered into the road in the Hang Chat district in Thailand. 

At around 10 p.m., a bus carrying 25 passengers was traveling on the Lampang-Chiang Mai route, driving up Khun Tan hill. Unable to see the pachyderm in the dark until it was too late, the driver could not avoid the animal. 

The bus was traveling at 60 miles per hour. The force of the impact killed the elephant instantly, but its body was dragged 100 feet before the bus came to a complete stop. Bus driver Narit Jittrong, 45, was badly injured and trapped in the driver’s seat. 

It took rescuers over an hour to free Jittrong. He was rushed to a nearby hospital. No one else on the bus was injured.

Plai Udom was in the process of being prepared to be released into the Doi Phamuang wildlife sanctuary in Hang Chang.

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