Dorset landslip: IPCC 'happy' with tunnel death case

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

The police watchdog says it is happy with the way Dorset police handled the case of a couple whose bodies were buried under a landslip for nine days.

Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe, from Somerset, were found inside their car near Beaminster Tunnel on Monday.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the force responded quickly enough after being told the pair may be in the area.

There was no issue to investigate, the IPPC added.

The IPCC said it was expecting a referral from Avon and Somerset Police about how they handled the initial report that the couple were missing.

Ms Snell, 67, from Misterton, near Crewkerne, and Mr Rolfe, 72, from Fivehead, near Taunton, went missing on 7 July but it was not until 16 July that Avon and Somerset police alerted their colleagues in Dorset that they had been in the Beaminster area.

An inquest, which was opened and adjourned on Friday, heard that rescue efforts would have failed.

The coroner said the couple died almost instantaneously.

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