Couple buried under landside in Dorset

July 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM
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BEAMINSTER, England, July 18 (UPI) -- A woman who recently moved to southwest England from London and a male friend lay dead for 10 days under a landslide that buried their car, police said Tuesday.

The couple were trapped in a tunnel near Beaminster in Dorset, The Independent reported. Rescue workers and sightseers in the area did not realize a car was hidden under what a senior police officer described as "several hundred tons of mud, water, brick and trees."

On July 6 and July 7, a storm dumped as much rain in 24 hours as usually falls in a month. Parts of the ancient town of Beaminster were flooded as the River Brit overtopped its banks.

Workers using heavy machinery uncovered a car Tuesday and discovered a woman's body, Assistant Chief Constable James Vaughan said.

"The vehicle was crushed, the roof was completely flat," Vaughan said.

Local residents said the woman was Rosemary Snell, 67, a former London tour guide who recently retired to Misterton, Somerset, a village a few miles north of Beaminster. Vaughan said Snell and a friend were known to have been in Beaminster shortly before the landslide.

Both had been reported missing by their families.

A neighbor said Snell "had a magnificent spirit" and described her as an active member of the Women's Institute, a community-based organization that provides opportunities for women.

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