Shahdol: Three villagers were crushed to death by a herd of elephants in Bansa village of Jaisinghnagar in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol on Wednesday, taking the death toll in such attacks to five in the last two days.

District Collector Vandana Vaidya said that three more people – a couple and a woman – residents of Bansa village, were crushed to death on Wednesday when they went to the Jaisingh Nagar forest to collect Mahua flowers. “Despite being alerted about the movement of wild elephants by the forest department and administration personnel, the victims had entered the forest,” he said.

The deceased have been identified as Lallu Singh (50), his wife Lalita Singh (48) and their sister-in-law Baby Singh Kanwar (38), who died on the spot in the attack. Police have registered a case and sent the bodies for post-mortem. DC Vaidya said that financial help is being given to the victim’s family.

There has been an atmosphere of panic in the surrounding areas after the incident as this is the second such attack in the last two days. On Tuesday morning, a couple, identified as Motilal Basor (60) and his wife Muliya Bai (55), were crushed to death by a herd of wild elephants under the Amjhor forest range.

The forest department and police personnel are keeping an eye on the elephants. Forest department officials said that a group of elephants reached Semra Ware House last night. After eating paddy there, they left for Bansa. According to the Forest Department, a herd of elephants was roaming just half a kilometer away from Shahdol Rewa Road.

A forest official had earlier said that the herd consisted of two male and female elephants and three calves. A patrol team is monitoring the movement of the herd and people in the area have been alerted, the official said.