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Priest, three parishioners fall into grave during burial in Brazil

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02:  A cemetery worker digs out a reclaimed grave in London City Cemetery on March 2, 2009 in London, England. The cemetery is piloting a scheme whereby graves over 75 years old become eligible for reclamation. New interments will be placed into the existing graves, the headstones will be turned around and re-used, carving the names of the newly deceased. Once a grave has been earmarked by English heritage the cemetery must wait one year to see if family members claim the existing grave. By conserving as many memorials as possible the City of London hopes to maintain the historic cemetery landscape and sustain buriel provisions for the future.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: A cemetery worker digs out a reclaimed grave in London City Cemetery on March 2, 2009 in London, England. The cemetery is piloting a scheme whereby graves over 75 years old become eligible for reclamation. New interments will be placed into the existing graves, the headstones will be turned around and re-used, carving the names of the newly deceased. Once a grave has been earmarked by English heritage the cemetery must wait one year to see if family members claim the existing grave. By conserving as many memorials as possible the City of London hopes to maintain the historic cemetery landscape and sustain buriel provisions for the future. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)  (2009 Getty Images)

A Roman Catholic priest fell into a grave while praying at the burial of one of his parishioners, police in central-western Brazil said Tuesday.

The Rev. Alex Novais de Brito reported that he was praying over the coffin at the Campo da Esperanca (Field of Hope) cemetery near Brasilia when the ground suddenly gave way and he and three others at the funeral service fell into the grave, according to a statement from police. No one was seriously hurt.

Police said they were investigating what caused the ground to cave in during the service Saturday. They did not provide further information.

The priest was not immediately available for comment but the G1 news portal quoted him as saying the incident "ruined the moment."

"It was very disagreeable," he told G1. "The funeral atmosphere ended and perhaps because of everyone's nervousness, there was something comical in the air. I was very embarrassed but I managed to continue with the funeral rites."

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