Sabarimala, Mar 30 (PTI) An elephant brought for a festival at the famous hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa temple here ran amok today, injuring at least 12 persons, including the mahout and a priest.

The pachyderm, carrying the ‘Thidambu’, a miniature version of the idol of Lord Ayyappa, ran amok when the ceremonial ‘Arattu’ procession of Lord Ayyappa was proceeding to Pamba river from Sannidhanam (temple complex) in the afternoon, official sources said.

The injured included a priest Veenith (29) and mahot Krishnakumar (39), they said.

The priest, who was holding the Thidambu, was injured after he fell down from atop the elephant.

Both the mahout and the priest were admitted to the Medical College Hospital, Kottayam, as their condition was stated to be serious.

The other injured persons were admitted to a hospital at Pathanamthitta, sources said.

Most of the injuries occurred as people ran helter skelter in the confusion, they said.

Other mahouts brought the elephant under control and the procession continued without the pachyderm, the sources said.

Arattu procession is the the final ritual of the 10-day festival.

The temple will be closed tonight after the ritual.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.