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Tuesday, October 5, 1999 Published at 05:06 GMT 06:06 UK

World: Africa

Briton trampled by elephant

Mr Street was trapped under the animal for five hours

A British man is battling serious injury after being trampled by an elephant in Africa, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

The tourist, named in newspaper reports as 32-year-old oil rig technician Steven Street, is in hospital in Botswana with a broken shoulder, injured ribs and internal injuries.

The accident happened ten days ago, while Mr Street and his wife Margaret, also 32, from Nunthorpe near Middlesborough, were on a two-day walking safari in the vast Selinda game reserve.

It is believed the group they were with happened across a group of elephants with their young - including the 5-ton female elephant who charged the group.

As it was heading for his wife, Mr Street waved and screamed at it to distract it.

'Incredibly courageous'

The animal charged Mr Street, butting, goring and kicking him before collapsing on top of him after a guide shot it dead.

Mr Street then lay trapped for five hours before a rescue plane reached him and flew him to hospital in Gaborone, the capital of the southern African nation.

Mr Street's wife, Margaret, also 32, and other relatives have been keeping a vigil at the part-time lay preacher's bedside in intensive care ever since.

A family friend, the Rev Alan Leighton, told newspapers Mr Street's attempt to distract the elephant was "an incredibly courageous and selfless act".

Although Mr Street's condition has improved, he remains seriously ill.

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