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S.African cleric, undertaker fall into grave during funeral

A witness told the Afrikaans newspaper Volksblad that shortly after the coffin was lowered into the ground, a wooden plank on the edge of the burial pit snapped/XINHUA FILE

A witness told the Afrikaans newspaper Volksblad that shortly after the coffin was lowered into the ground, a wooden plank on the edge of the burial pit snapped/XINHUA FILE

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Feb 3 – A church minister, the undertaker and several pallbearers fell into a grave during the funeral of a young man in the town of Bethlehem, in central South Africa, local media reported on Tuesday.

A witness told the Afrikaans newspaper Volksblad that shortly after the coffin was lowered into the ground, a wooden plank on the edge of the burial pit snapped, sending the undertaker tumbling into the grave.

The minister then slipped and fell into the grave, followed by several pallbearers.

“The undertaker landed on the coffin and bruised his arm,” said the unnamed witness. “Then the minister fell on top of the undertaker.”

“He was quickly followed by four or five of the pallbearers.”

They were helped out of the grave by mourners.

The undertaker confirmed the incident to the paper, but refused to give details.

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