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Bones found in Christchurch cemetery

Sunday 19 Feb 2012 5:54 p.m.

By Annabelle Tukia

What appear to be human bones have emerged from old graves in a Christchurch cemetery.

The bones were discovered by a pair of women going for a walk this afternoon and the Christchurch City Council says it is the first case of human remains coming to the surface they have heard of since the earthquakes began.

Karen Brownlie and her friend Cass got the fright of their lives when they visited Bromley Cemetery this afternoon to look at earthquake damage to gravesites and found bones on the ground.

“I don’t know how many we found with bones poking out, about 10 or something,” says Cass who was so horrified that she rang the Police.

When the Police arrived they confirmed that they did indeed look like human bones that had been pushed to the surface due to the liquefaction process under the Eastern Suburbs cemetery.

“It’s pretty sad for relatives that haven’t been here for whatever reason and don’t know how bad it is, but it’s pretty dismal,” says Cass.

The cemetery, which is run by the Christchurch City Council, has been badly affected by the earthquake and a number of headstones have toppled over and grave sites caved in.

“Even before seeing bones, as I was walking along here just the devastation and whole state of the cemetery got my stomach churning actually,” says Ms Brownlie.

A council spokeswoman says they’ve had no reports of bones coming up through graves since the earthquakes but say they will have someone out to investigate first thing in the morning

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