After marathon efforts for several hours, plantation workers and forest personnel managed to rescue a bus driver and conductor from a house in Periyakallar Estate in Chincona region of Valparai on Wednesday night.

The last service of the TNSTC bus terminated at Periya Kallaru and bus crew Selvaraj (50) and Selvam (45) stayed at the house of a postal department employee there.

Late in the night, a herd of 11 elephants including three calves damaged the walls of the house and ransacked it, looking for groceries.

Neighbours tried to scare away the elephants by hooting and howling, setting off firecrackers and directing powerful lights at the herd.

Forest officials joined the public in trying to chase away the elephants. Around 4 a.m., the elephants made their way into the forest.

The Forest Department has deployed anti-depredation squad members to prevent the herd coming back.