Makassar, Indonesia – An Indonesian was killed when his mother’s coffin fell from a funeral tower and crushed him during a service on the island of Sulawesi, police said Sunday.
Samen Kondorura, 40, died Friday when pallbearers lost their footing while carrying the coffin up a bamboo ladder in the Parinding Valley in North Toraja district, police said.
The casket fell as the group hoisted it onto a lakkian, an ornately carved tower where the deceased is placed before elaborate traditional funeral rites. When ethnic Torajans die, their elaborate funerals can last for days and involve music, dance and the sacrifice of water buffalo.
“As the mother’s coffin was being raised to the lakkian, suddenly the ladder shifted and collapsed, the coffin fell and hit the victim,” said Julianto Sirait, chief commissioner of the Tana Toraja resort police.
Video from the scene, which has gone viral online, shows the ladder slip just as the casket enters the tower, sending the men tumbling several meters to the ground, where the victim is struck by the coffin.
Sirait said the accident happened because the ladder was not properly reinforced. The family has declined to press charges.
Kondorura is now resting alongside his mother, Berta.