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Police Close Road to Spencer Home

Sunday, September 7, 1997; 9:37 p.m. EDT

GREAT BRINGTON, England (AP) -- Police on Sunday closed the road outside the Spencer family's estate where Princess Diana is buried, fearing the crowds flocking to pay tribute were growing too large and people might be hurt.

Police said the hundreds of people gathered outside the front and rear gates of the grounds of Althorp House were making the situation dangerous.

``We have decided to close off the road as we did yesterday for the funeral because we feel that there is a danger of someone being hit by a car,'' a police statement said. ``The situation is obviously likely to become more dangerous so we will be closing off the road for the rest of the evening.''

Diana was buried Saturday in an island in a lake on the grounds of her family's estate, 50 miles northwest of London, after a funeral service in the capital's Westminster Abbey.

Throughout Sunday, crowds gathered placed bunches of flowers and lighted candles at the gates of the estate.

Police initially set up barriers along the side of the road to separate the crowds from the passing traffic, then decided to close the road to traffic as the crowds continued to grow.

Other visitors flocked to the nearby church of St. Mary the Virgin in the village of Great Brington.

The vicar, David MacPherson, said he had asked people not to lay any more flowers in the church because it was becoming so full but said he would keep the church open throughout the week to allow people to grieve.

``We have had to ask for no more flowers because we've simply been inundated,'' MacPherson said.

© Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

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