Dorset tunnel landslip: Second body recovered

  • 18 July 2012
  • From the section England
A3066 tunnel
Image caption The car was buried after several hundred tonnes of mud, bricks and trees collapsed

A second body has been recovered from a car which was buried during a landslip in Dorset.

The silver Skoda was found under mounds of earth near the partially-collapsed Beaminster Tunnel on Monday. It is believed to have been buried for more than a week.

Dorset Police said a man and a woman's bodies had been recovered.

The woman has been named locally as Rosemary Snell, from Misterton, near Crewkerne in Somerset.

Rescue crews began searching the area on Monday after receiving information that two missing people had been in the area.

Avon and Somerset Police said the pair - a man in his 70s from Taunton and a woman in her 60s - were traced to the area on 7 July, the day when the landslip happened.

'Ferocious storm'

Several hundred tonnes of mud, bricks and trees collapsed at the edge of the tunnel and the road was subsequently closed.

Assistant Chief Constable of Dorset Police James Vaughan said: "At that time it wasn't suspected that anyone was trapped in the landslide and it wasn't obvious that any vehicle was there."

Fire crews began excavating the pile of earth at 18:30 BST on Monday and found the car about 50 minutes later.

The MP for West Dorset Oliver Letwin said: "This is a ghastly reminder of just how ferocious the storm was in West Dorset.

"The emergency services did a fantastic job in the circumstances - but the forces of nature are sometimes too great for us.

"It is appalling to think of what this poor couple must have experienced."

Dorset Police said the families of the missing people had been informed and were being helped by liaison officers.

Friends told how Ms Snell volunteered in the local community and was a member of the Women's Institute.

Dorset County Council previously said the road through the tunnel was expected to remain closed until September while repairs were carried out.

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