EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) In past years, the Fort Bliss National Cemetery has seen a lot of sunken graves. This year there have only been 140.

In 2006 there were around two to three thousand sunken graves. Last year there were around 800.

According to Francisco Gonzalez, the director at Fort Bliss National Cemetery, the sites that they see sink the most are the older, more traditional gravesites that don’t have a built in vault.

“Where there is just the casket or the remains in there and there’s no vault or container in there, so those sites are a little more prone to that.”

He says they have yet to see the new gravesites sink because there are concrete crypts set into the ground before the casket. Additionally these crypts have a drainage system installed in them.

There is a process to the way the graves are repaired, starting with a sand and rock mixture that hardens.

“And then once we pour that we pour the soil on top, then once thats done we tamp it so the ground settles as much as it can and then we put the red rock which is a special rock that you see around the gravesites here, its basically what you see that coats the top.”

According to Gonzalez, the cemetery does not notify the families when this happens unless there is a large area affected.

Gonzalez says the graves should all be fixed by Friday.

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