February 25, 2008 / 3:56 PM / 11 years ago

Runaway lawnmower kills monk

LONDON (Reuters) - A Buddhist monk from Japan was killed after slipping and falling under the blades of his runaway tractor lawnmower, an inquest into his death has found.

The Reverend Seiji Handa, 50, was cutting the grass around his peace pagoda in the English city of Milton Keynes when the accident occurred last August.

He got out of the tractor to inspect something but the vehicle, which was pulling a multi-bladed grass cutting machine, slipped its handbrake.

The coroner’s office in Milton Keynes, northwest of London, said it had recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Handa, from Niigata in Japan, came to Britain in 1978, when he began building a pagoda to promote peace. He had tended the pagoda with the help of nuns ever since. His main job was to trim the 12 acres of lawns around the monument.

Reporting by Luke Baker; Editing by Charles Dick

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