A Brazilian man died after a cow crashed through the roof of his home and landed on top of him as he lay sleeping in his bed.
Joao Maria de Souza, 45, had been in bed with his wife Leni when the animal suddenly fell through the ceiling of their home in Caratinga, south east Brazil.
The cow is believed to have escaped from a nearby farm and climbed onto the roof of the couple’s house, which backs onto a steep hill.
The corrugated roof immediately gave way and the one-and-a-half-tonne horned bovine fell 8ft onto Mr de Souza’s side of the bed.
His wife, and the cow, both reportedly escaped unharmed.
Rescuers took Mr de Souza to hospital with a fractured left leg but no other obvious injuries, reporting that he was conscious and talking normally.
But hours later he died from internal bleeding while still waiting to be seen by doctors, according to his family.
Mr de Souza’s brother-in-law Carlos Correa told Brazil’s Hoje em Dia newspaper: ‘Being crushed by a cow in your bed is the last way you expect to leave this earth.
‘But in my view it wasn’t the cow that killed our Joao, it was the unacceptable time he spent waiting to be examined.’
His grieving mother, Maria de Souza, told Brazil’s SuperCanal TV channel: ‘I didn’t bring my son up to be killed by a falling cow.
‘He nearly died when he was two and got meningitis, but I worked hard to buy medicines for him and he survived.
‘And now he’s lying in his bed and gets crushed to death by a cow. There’s no justice in the world.’
Civil police in Caratinga, Minas Gerais state, today launched an inquiry into the bizarre death.
Police chief Ivan Lopes Sales said he would be hearing from Mr de Souza’s family and hospital managers in the next 30 days.
He added police officers were also trying to identify the owner of the cow, who could be charged with involuntary manslaughter.