Floating coffin horror as landslide sends graveyard crashing into the sea

Hundreds of coffins have plunged 160ft into the sea after a landslide hit a clifftop graveyard in Italy.

More than 200 were swept away as locals were horrified at the sight of loved ones' bodies and wrecked caskets among the rocks below.

Firefighters and rescuers managed to recover some 10 coffins after the disaster struck a village near Genoa on Monday.

Two chapels at the Camogli cemetery were also destroyed and prosecutors have opened a probe into the landslip.

A woman named Pamela told of her grief as she feared her father's ashes were lost in the sea, the Independent reports.

She told a local newspaper: "My legs are shaking, it's like he's dead again."

“I lost my grandmother, I don't even know if we will find her again. And now I try to understand that my father didn't go down too. It's a shame," resident Germana Zoppi added.

Another local Dimitri Perini said he has two of his family members resting at the cemetery and ran to the site as soon as he was told about the collapse.

Giacomo Giampedrone, regional assessor of civil protection, reckoned just 10 coffins had been recovered of an estimated 200 that went down.

He said saving the rest will “depend on the sea in the coming days”.

Experts have blamed coastal erosion following severe storms in northern Italy in recent years.

Camogli's mayor Francesco Olivari said: “It is an unimaginable catastrophe.

"We'll do our best to identify the bodies using DNA tests.

"We are also planning to create a team to provide psychological support to those people, who are understandably under shock."

Maintenance work on the fragile coastline had been halted two days earlier when workers noticed cracks in the rock.

Mr Olivar added: ”This type of collapse that happened today is very hard to detect or to predict.

"This area is subject to this type of collapse — it's very fragile."

He said surveillance work with drones is being conducted by a team of geologists to know about the danger of another possible landslide.

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