Elephants in m-way smash
Easter traffic operation finishes with 27 deaths around the country
One of circus elephants that were loose on the A-30 motorway on Monday after the lorry that was transporting them crashed is carefully removed by emergency services assisted by a mobile crane. An online petition to demand they are not returned to circus life has been put together -
A LORRY transporting five elephants caused traffic chaos when it crashed on the A-30 motorway on Monday at 16.03 between Albacete and Murcia.
Tragically, one of the elephants died in the accident, which occurred at Pozo Cañada during the final phase of the national road department (DGT) traffic operation for the Easter holidays.
Large tailbacks were recorded as the motorway was closed for nearly three hours while emergency services teams worked at the site.
A DGT spokesman reported that the transporter carrying the circus animals had turned over during an overtaking manoeuvre to pass a long vehicle carrying a special load driving at a very slow speed.
He explained that although the procedure had apparently been carried out correctly, the lorry toppled over as it moved into the fast lane, ‘probably due to the distribution of weight or the movement of the elephants’. However, he stressed that the accident is under investigation.
The elephants were thrown from the vehicle during the crash and one died from the injuries it sustained.
Two others were injured, one suffering a broken foot.
Videos taken at the scene by motorists showed the stricken animals walking on the motorway next to the vehicle and later moving away to try to graze on nearby land which was practically empty of vegetation.
A special crane had to be called in to lift the two injured elephants onto trucks brought in to move them.
The driver of the lorry escaped uninjured.
Animal rights associations voiced their disgust at the incident and called on all circuses using animals to be banned.
As Costa Blanca News went to press it was reported that the four surviving elephants have been transferred to a warehouse near the accident site, which has access to an open-air area. Local police reported that ‘they are receiving the treatment they need’ until they can be moved.
Animals rights party El Partido Animalista has launched a petition which can be found on their website (pacma.es), to prevent the elephants being returned to the Gottani circus.
Easter traffic campaign
The DGT reported provisionally that a total of 27 people died in accidents around the country during the Easter campaign, which started on March 23 and ended on Monday (April 2) at midnight.
A total of 15.5 million journeys were recorded during this period.
A spokesman for the DGT noted that this was the same number of deaths as last year.
Most of the major traffic problems occurred around Madrid and in Cataluña, with holidaymakers returning to the major cities on Sunday and Monday.
Protests by pro-independence supporters in Cataluña caused long tailbacks on the AP-7 in Barcelona when they blocked the highway on Monday at one of the toll booths.
The elephants loose on the motoway
The elephants were described as being in a state of shock after the crash