An Indonesian man was killed at his own mother’s funeral after her coffin fell from a funeral tower.
Samen Kondorura, 40, was tragically trapped beneath the coffin after pallbearers lost their footing while carrying it up a bamboo ladder. The casket fell as the men hoisted it onto a lakkian – a tower where the dead are placed before the funeral rites are conducted.
The incident occurred in the Parinding valley in the North Toraja district, Daily Mail reports.
Julianto Sirait, chief commissioner of the Tana Toraja police said:
As the mother’s coffin was being raised to the lakkian, suddenly the ladder shifted and collapsed, the coffin fell and hit the victim.
Funeral-goers and onlookers rushed to help Kondorura, but the man sadly died later in hospital.
Sirait said the accident happened because the ladder was not properly reinforced, but the family are not pressing charges.
The police commissioner added that the body of Kondorura is now resting alongside his mother Berta.
When Torajans die, families and residents hold elaborate funerals which can last for days, involving music, dance and the sacrifice of water buffalo.
Earlier this year, and 11-year-old girl from Ealing died after having a ‘serious’ asthma attack as she travelled home from her mother’s funeral.
Syira Coutain-Harebin died on June 1, just six weeks after her mum, Mary ‘Chiney’ Coutain’s ‘sudden death’.
Described as the ‘sweetest, dearest little girl’ who was ‘always smiling’, friends have been left devastated, and her school has organised a ‘Smile for Syira Day’.
A JustGiving page has been set up to raise money to help with funeral costs.
The page reads:
On June 1, Syira attended her Mother Chineys Funeral. In the car on the way home she had a very serious asthma attack and was driven to the hospital.
Whilst being attended by the doctors Syira had another major attack. This proved fatal and sadly Syira didn’t recover.
She had just turned 11 years old. I am broken to have lost a dear friend and now her little girl so tragically and suddenly.
According to the Mirror, family friend Jackie Nugent described the deaths as ‘totally heartbreaking’, and wrote on the fundraising page: ‘I guess mummy Chiney needed her baby girl and her baby girl needed her mummy.’
She was the sweetest, dearest little girl. Loving and smart and funny with wonderful manners and always smiling.
We all adored you Syira. Your classmates and their parents are absolutely grief stricken. We will never forget you, darling girl.
Clare Walsh, headteacher at Mount Carmel Catholic Primary School in Ealing, wrote a letter to parents at the school, which said:
There are no words to describe the shock and sadness that is in the school at the moment.
According to reports, Mrs Walsh said schoolchildren have been leaving tributes at a temporary memorial to Syira, and the school is in the process of raising money for a permanent memorial.
Our thoughts go out to all the family and all the friends of Chiney and Syira, and Samen Kondorura.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.