A BRITISH woman lay unconscious for nine hours next to her dead husband after the pair fell into a sinkhole near their Costa del Sol home.
The ex-pat was rescued after coming to and alerting the emergency services.
Nothing could be done to save her 74-year-old husband, also British, who died after hitting his head on a stone in the seven-foot deep hole.
Today it was reported the sinkhole had been caused by a flood nearly 15 years ago but the local community in charge of the area had been refused permission to carry out repairs.
The couple at the centre of the tragedy have not yet been named.
They are understood to have fallen into the hole as they used a shortcut to head home on a residential estate called San Juan de Capistrano north of the town of Nerja on the eastern Costa del Sol.
Local reports said they had just returned from the town centre by bus and ordered a takeaway pizza and drinks at a bar by the bus stop.
They suffered their accident around 9pm on March 6 but the survivor was not able to raise the alarm until 6am the following day.
Details of the incident, published by Malaga-based daily Diario Sur, have only just emerged.
Barriers have now been put up around the hole while a more permanent solution is found.
Last June a British ex-pat died when he fell down an uncovered manhole in the holiday resort of Calahonda an hour’s drive west of Nerja.
Richie Kennedy, 39, died instantly from head injuries after tumbling down the hole but his body lay undiscovered for 15 hours.
The expat, originally from Brighton, East Sussex, had been walking home from seeing friends when he tripped and fell.
His distraught partner Claus Dueholm told last August how he had found his body.
The 56-year-old hotel worker said: “I called an ambulance and helped his stepdad jumping down into the 8ft deep hole but we couldn’t help him out of there until about two hours later.
“He was completely cold at this point, he had been lying there for more than 15 hours.
The police and the people from the ambulance couldn’t get to him, so it wasn’t until the fire brigade came with a ladder and they finally got him out.