Tributes paid to landslide victim
Tributes have been paid to a stalwart of the Women's Institute who died when a car she was in was buried in a landslide.
Rosemary Snell, who was in her 60s, had been reported missing along with an unnamed man. Police inquiries traced the pair to the Beaminster area, near Dorchester, on July 7, which coincided with heavy rain and a landslide that closed the Beaminster Tunnel.
Excavations of the mud and debris by the fire service located a car at the entrance of the tunnel. Ms Snell's body was found inside the car.
It is feared that Ms Snell and the man were buried in their car for more than a week after heavy rain and flooding brought down several hundred tonnes of mud and rubble on to the road and surrounding area. The A3066 road, which runs through the tunnel, has been closed since the landslide.
Ms Snell, who played an active role in her local branch of the Women's Institute, was well known in the village of Misterton, near Crewkerne, Somerset.
David Welsh, chairman of Misterton Parish Council, said it was over a day before it was noticed she was missing.
He added: "She was a qualified London guide, she was extremely knowledgeable. In all the village quizzes she always had the most points for knowledge on general subjects."
Ms Snell was a registered London tour guide and was a member of The Guild of Guide Lecturers, where she listed her interests as antiques, gardens and social history.
One villager added: "I think everyone knew her in the village. She had a magnificent spirit and was most enjoyable company socially. Everyone will be terribly shocked by this."
Explaining why it took so long to find the car, Assistant Chief Constable James Vaughan of Dorset Police said emergency services had searched the tunnel but did not find any vehicle.