Three pallbearers were taken to hospital after a coffin they were carrying slid down a hill and landed on them during a funeral procession in a Chinese village.
The accident occurred on Thursday in Dahe, Yiliang County, in the southwestern province of Yunnan in China. The remains of a 73-year-old village elder were carried up a steep hill to a cemetery.
According to the newspaper “The Beijing News”, owned by the Chinese Communist Party, the villager had been cremated the day before and was to be buried in the heavy coffin, which weighed about 550 pounds.
The eldest was the mother of a resident who could only be identified by the surname Qiu. The location of the burial site, although difficult to access, was chosen for its favorable orientation, taking into account the laws of Feng Shui, the newspaper said.
The people of Dahe were just about to complete the usual procession up the mountainous village path when a rope broke as they tried to lift the coffin over a steep hill, Red Star News from Sichuan reported.
Footage of the incident, which is widely available on social media platforms such as Weibo and Douyin – the Chinese version of TikTok – shows at least a dozen villagers standing around the coffin while the remains of the elder are being lifted.
But when one of the ropes seems to give way, the heavy coffin slides down the hill and lands on three pallbearers, one of whom is trapped under the coffin, as the video shows.
In the cell phone video, several other villagers are seen stumbling off the narrow, dirty sidewalk as the coffin comes down.
Red Star News reports that nearby villagers helped lift the coffin from the pallbearer, who was able to get up and walk after the incident. The three injured villagers were taken to a local hospital for treatment and were still recovering.
None of them suffered life-threatening injuries during the accident.
A spokesman for the People’s Government of Yiliang District confirmed details of the accident to the Chengdu news station on Wednesday. The public affairs official said that the relevant departments of the local government would investigate the matter.
Members of the Qiu family have not yet made statements about the incident to the local media.