Two bodies have been mixed up by the staff of a funeral parlor in Hung Hom, leading to the cremation of a wrong body.
A grieving family had accidentally collected and cremated a wrong body in a funeral at Tung Wah Group’s Global Funeral Parlor.
The erroneous act was only discovered when the other family came to retrieve their late family member’s body, only to be told that it had already been cremated. Enraged, the family was planning to pursue the obligations from the funeral parlor.
Tung Wah Group said the mix-up was caused by their employee’s mistake and staff involved have been suspended from duty. It apologized for causing greater pain to the affected families and the decreased owing to their negligence, saying that the parlor had contacted the grieving families for follow-up arrangements.
A spokesperson of the group said in a reply to press inquiries that it had notified the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and police after discovering the incident but it could not reveal further details due to privacy concerns of the bereaved families.
The spokesperson stressed that the group was deeply concerned with the incident, and added it would inspect procedures of the mortuary works in order to ascertain causes of the mix-up and prevent such mistake from happening again.
A worker from the funeral industry said officers of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will only verify names marked on top of coffins when the bodies arrived at the cremation venues, and check whether the families have brought the required legal documents.
He explained that coffin covers are closed once the bodies leave the funeral parlor, and the staff of the parlor should carry the greatest responsibility.
A similar incident happened before in 2006, in which the body of a 91-year-old male was collected and cremated by a wrong family in Sha Tin’s Fu Shan public mortuary as undertakers at the mortuary did not check his identification bands and documents. The mix-up was later disclosed by the late man’s grieving family.