Police in the UK closed off a tunnel that had been covered by a landslide completely unaware an elderly couple had been buried inside.
Police and emergency services closed off the tunnel because it was a ‘busy weekend’, and heat seeking equipment had failed to detect signs of movement beneath the rubble.
The equipment did not show any signs of 67-year old Rosemary Snell and her friend, known only as Mike, who were trapped in their car under the torrent of mud and debris for ten days.
The two had been for a weekend drive near Dorset and were returning home on a weekend of flooding and torrential rain in the region.
Emercency services were called to the landslide but chose to simply close off the road so they could attend to other emergencies.
The two bodies lay trapped in their car for the next ten days until the rubble was finally cleared.
It wasn't until Ms Snell failed to keep an appointment two days later that the alarm was finally raised. It took another eight days before the car was found.
A team was sent to clear the mud, trees and debris, and the crushed car containing two bodies was discovered.
"This was a tragic, freak accident. It was a chance in a million that they happened to be driving out of the end of the tunnel when the landslide swept through," a police spokesman said.
"Their car was severely crushed – like being caught up in an avalanche of mud."
"It will be up to the pathologist to decide exactly what was the cause of death, but I would have thought it would have been pretty instantaneous."
But locals are furious it took so long to discover the bodies.
"We are all in total shock. We just want to know why it took so long for her body to be found," local councilor John Dyke told The Daily Mail.
"Surely they should have been looking in the mud sooner? We only pray she died instantly."