Grieving family bury total stranger after hospital mixes up bodies

A hospital is being investigated after a mix-up which led to the wrong body being buried at a funeral.

Hospital chiefs have launched a probe into the mistake, which meant a family unknowingly held a funeral service for the wrong person.

During the service which was held on July 6, one of two elderly men involved in the mix up was accidentally buried at St Mary’s Church in Rockcliffe village, near Carlisle, reports News and Star.

The family and mourners remained unaware the burial was for a stranger.

According to the news outlet, the man mistakenly buried was another north Cumbrian pensioner just a year younger than the man who the family thought they were burying.

On July 7, staff at the mortuary of Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary contacted the funeral directors, George Hudson & Sons to ask when the body of the man who was supposed to be buried would be collected.

This is when the mistake was noticed.

Nine days after the funeral, the buried man was exhumed on July 15, although he was due to be cremated on July 13 he was eventually cremated on July 20.

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On the same day of the exhumation, the man who should have been buried was interred in the right grave.

According to a spokeswoman for North Cumbria Integrated Care Foundation NHS Trust, an investigation has been launched.

She said: “We are supporting the funeral directors to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident and our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families at what is already a difficult time.

“We are undertaking an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident and will share the findings with the families once this is complete.”

A spokesman for the funeral director has said: "Our sympathy goes out to the families involved. Our family have been funeral directors for more than 150 years and nothing like this has happened before.

“We didn’t realise we had another person’s body. We feel for the families.”

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