An Indonesian man died on Friday after a coffin carrying the body of his mother fell from a stilt tower and crushed him to death, police said.
Samen Kondorura, 40, was killed after the coffin fell off the funeral tower during the service for his mother Berta Kondurara on the island of Sulawesi, The Guardian reported.
Kondorura was serving as a pallbearer for his mother’s funeral when the other pallbearers carried it up a ladder to place on to a lakkian, “an ornately carved tower where the deceased is placed before elaborate traditional funeral rites.”
However, the staircase crumbled underneath the group's feet and the coffin fell off the lakkian as it was being raised on to the elevated tower, video showed. The coffin dropped about 10 feet and hit Kondorura.
“As the mother’s coffin was being raised to the lakkian, suddenly the ladder shifted and collapsed, the coffin fell and hit the victim,” Julianto Sirait, the chief police commissioner in the North Toraja district said.
Bystanders attempted to help the man but Kondorura died on his way to the hospital, NDTV reported.
Sirait said the ladder “was not properly reinforced” but the family has decided not to press charges against the manufacturer.
Kondorura’s body now rests beside his mother’s, Sirait said.
When an ethnic Torajan dies, some families spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on funerals. The funerals can go on for days and include feasts, dancing, and animal sacrifice.
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