Casket slides down hill in 'freak accident'

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Fairmount Memorial Park in North Spokane had an edge give way creating a mini landslide Friday.

The hill carried a vault holding a casket about 12-feet down a hill in what the CEO, Denny York, is describing as a "freak accident."

Crews spent hours assessing damage overnight, removing and temporarily relocating the vault and blocking off the area. Only one grave site was affected, but was not seriously damaged.

Staff still are not sure what caused the slide, but narrowed it down to a tree that may have been damaged during the summer's storms, or a broken water pipe.

"It is sad. But you know, when you got pipes and irrigation and stuff like that. We've had a lot of rain and weird weather…nothing is really surprising me much," said Rosie Deal, an eyewitness of the landslide.

Five other head stones were feet away from the edge as well, but are currently not at risk. Staff will continue to maintain the cemetery and access the incident.
The family of the affected site have been notified.


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