AUTHORITIES are holding a public meeting tonight to explain the emergency services’ response to the Beaminster tunnel tragedy.

It will include the emergency service’s reaction when part of the tunnel collapsed and the days leading up to the discovery of the couple buried under 100 tons of earth.

Inspector Mike Darby is said the meeting in Beaminster would involve Dorset Police , Dorset Fire and Rescue and Dorset County Council.

He said that he hoped it would help explain what happened, not only to Beaminster people but to the victims’ communities.

He said the incident had naturally attracted a lot of press attention and although no suggestion of any culpability attached to anyone’s actions involved in the response Dorset Police had voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Complaints Commission which had referred back to Dorset to investigate its own response.

He said someone from the professional standards department would be investigating. At a meeting of Beaminster Town Council – where councillors and the public stood for a minute’s silence to remember Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe – Insp Darby gave the overview of events that would form the basis of the public meeting.

He said: “The coroner will examine the facts in full following a thorough investigation by Dorset Police.

“Dorset Fire and Rescue responded to the landslide, they were joined by Dorset County Council and the landslide was searched for any signs of vehicles trapped and both Dorset Fire and Rescue and Dorset County Council attendees made reasonable judgements on the night in what were clearly dangerous circumstances.”

The meeting in the public hall starts at 7pm.