Landslide sends coffins into sea

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Part of a cemetery in the Italian Riviera collapsed into the sea on Monday evening, sending 200 coffins down a cliff.

Residents were shocked at the sight of the coffins, possibly of their loved ones, floating in the water.

Ten bodies were recovered, with five of them identified, according to local media. About 20 coffins have been recovered so far.

Operations were still underway and might take some time as experts warned parts of the cliff surrounding the landslide were still unstable.

The cemetery stands on a cliff 70 meters above sea level.

There had been concerns over its safety even before the landslide and works to stabilise the cliff were underway.

The cemetery was closed to the public and no injuries were reported.  

It was believed the collapse happened due to the erosion of the underlying cliff, made more serious by severe coastal storms that hit the area over the last few years.

The local prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the cause of the collapse. No one has been charged.

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