Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Beaminster Inquest: "...a landslip waiting to happen"

Beaminster Tunnel where the mudslide happened. Photo: ITV News West Country

A mudslide which killed two people after their car became trapped under a wall of mud in a tunnel was caused by a "landslip waiting to happen", an inquest has heard.

62 year old Rosemary Snell, from Misterton in Somerset and 72 year old Michael Rolfe from Fivehead in Somerset, died when the car they were travelling in was engulfed by a "wall of mud and water" in the Beaminster Tunnel last July

The Dorchester inquest heard the pair lay undiscovered for 10 days in the crushed car under the mud until their vehicle was excavated.

David Ashcroft, who is the managing agent for the land on the south side of the tunnel, said that he became concerned about the potential of a landslide when 42 trees were felled on both sides of the tunnel in 2004.

The work was carried out to prevent the danger of over-mature trees falling on to the busy road.

Our Dorset correspondent, Duncan Sleightholme was at the inquest today:-