1. ITV Report

Tunnel collapse concealed car for ten days

Rosemary Snell has been named as a woman killed in a tunnel collapse at Beaminster Photo: SWNS

The body of a woman found after a tunnel collapsed on a car has been identified as Rosemary Snell.

The stalwart of the Women's Institute was well known in the village of Misterton in Somerset where she lived.

Police believe there is also the body of a man still in the car.

The tunnel collapsed ten days ago, however with no missing persons reported and searches of the area revealing no clue that the rubble contained the car there was no further investigation.

Torrential rain had loosened the earth around the mouth of the tunnel, which could not contain the mud as it fell on to the road below swallowing the car.

A view of the tunnel shortly after the collapse, before it was realised a car lay under the mud Credit: Twitter/ @edlawrence365

It was ten days before Avon and Somerset police contacted the local force in Dorset about the missing Ms Snell and another person, at which point more excavation at the scene revealed the flattened vehicle.

The car had been completely covered and the weight of the mud had left the roof flattened.

Ed Lawrence, who lives in Beaminster, posted pictures on his Twitter account which he took the day after the landslide - before it was known anyone had died.

"There was no indication of a vehicle, it was nowhere near tall enough," the 18-year-old said.

Mr Lawrence said the pile of earth was between 3ft and 4ft in height.

Assistant Chief Constable James Vaughan said nobody suspected that people had been trapped in the tunnel:

There was a significant landslide here.

It wasn't obvious in any way, shape or form that a vehicle was there.

The vehicle was crushed, the roof was completely flat, and we found at least one body inside, and suspect that among the mud, there is a second body inside the car.

The car has been removed to a local police station so that both bodies could be removed in a dignified manner.

ITV News correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports from the scene of the collapsed tunnel in Beaminster:

Tributes have been paid to Ms Snell, one villager said:

I think everyone knew her in the village.

She had a magnificent spirit and was most enjoyable company socially. Everyone will be terribly shocked by this

She's an extremely reliable and well-organised person, so concern was raised at that time and the police were contacted and they started their investigation.

She was a qualified London guide, she was extremely knowledgeable.

In all the village quizzes she always had the most points for knowledge on general subjects.

– David Welsh, chairman of Misterton Parish Council