Coimbatore: Coming out of his house to receive a call on his cellphone turned fatal for a 35-year-old labourer, who was killed by an elephant at a village on the outskirts of the city.

Police said the man had got out of his house at Moongilmarakuttai late last night to attend to the call when the pachyderm suddenly appeared from behind some trees, lifted him with its trunk and smashed him onto a tree.

Hearing his cries for help, neighbours rushed to the spot to try and rescue him, but the man had died by then, they said. The villagers, however, managed to scare away the elephant and alerted police, which rushed retrieved the body.