Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Colin Manvell elephant death Indian records 'incomplete'

Colin Manvell Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Manvell is believed to have been alone when the elephant emerged

Records about the death of a retired teacher killed by an elephant in India were incomplete, an inquest has heard.

Colin Manvell, of Havant, Hampshire, was trampled while photographing wildlife at Masinagudi National Park in Tamil Nadu on 19 September.

Coroner David Horsley said little was known about the incident because the only report sent from India had been badly photocopied and was incomplete.

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Horsley, coroner for Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, said it was believed the 67-year-old had been alone when he was trampled.

Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation

'One-in-a-million'

He said: "We do not know any more than an elephant must have come out of the undergrowth making trumpeting sounds and he was in its way. I have no more information than that.

"It is the first time I have encountered anything like this as a coroner. He was clearly out in India doing what he loved. It was maybe the way he would have wanted to go."

After the hearing, Mr Manvell's nephew, Roger Manvell, said his uncle had always been a very keen traveller.

"It was quite unbelievable when it happened at the time; it's a one-in-a-million," he said.

"The Foreign Office were very good at the time, they helped us out with the repatriation.

"The details they got were sketchy. Unless we actually speak to his friends out in India face-to-face, it's very difficult."

He said the family had photographs taken by Mr Manvell, "which we will hold very dear to us".

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