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Body discovered in car after Dorset landslide

A second body is expected to be found inside the tunnel, which suffered a partial collapse due to heavy rain ten days ago.

the Beaminster Tunnel where one body has been found in a car which was buried in the tunnel entrance by a landslide
the Beaminster Tunnel where one body has been found in a car which was buried in the tunnel entrance by a landslide
Image: Emma Hallett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A BODY HAS been discovered in a car in Dorset, England, following a landslide caused by heavy rain in the area ten days ago.

Local police have confirmed that the body of one person has been discovered and that a second body is expected to be found at the Beaminster Tunnel.

Assistant Chief Constable James Vaughan said that, on Saturday 7 July 2012, severe weather conditions and localised flooding caused a partial collapse of tunnel, bringing down several hundred tonnes of mud and rubble onto the road and surrounding area.

“Partner agencies, including Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, Dorset Police and Dorset County Council searched the tunnel. There was no sign of any vehicle and, at this time, there were no reports of any missing people in the surrounding area,” said Vaughan.

The tunnel has been closed for the past 10 days.

“At approximately 6.30pm yesterday, Monday 16 July 2012, Avon and Somerset Constabulary contacted local emergency services regarding a possible connection between this incident and a missing elderly couple from the Somerset area” Vaughan continued.

Following enquiries, police were led to believe that the missing couple had been in the Beaminster area on the date in question – and had not been seen since.

Emergency crews entered the tunnel and eventually excavated a car from underneath a “large volume of earth and mud”, police said. The vehicle has been confirmed to be connected to the missing couple.

“The body of one person has been found in the car and it is suspected that a second person will also be found. However, due to the time elapsed, the large volume of earth in and around the car and the deterioration of the vehicle enquiries are ongoing,” said Vaughan.

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