Funeral parlour cremated wrong body, license being suspended

Image source from Harmony Funeral Care official website

The license of a funeral parlour has been suspended and will be charged due to a mix-up resulted in a wrong body being cremated.

Earlier reported by Straits Times on Friday (3 Jan), the mix-up by funeral home causing a wrong body being cremated happened on 30 Dec 2019, which is also believed to be the first reported case in Singapore.

National Environment Agency (NEA) has issued a notice to suspend the license of Century Products, where they revealed the premises had not kept proper records of the received or removed remains.

NEA said the latest inspections of Century Products on 31 Dec 2019 also confirmed the breaches.

“The National Environment Agency takes a serious view of licensees who fail to ensure that their funeral parlours with embalming facilities keep proper records and uphold environmental hygiene standards.” said the NEA spokesperson to the media.

NEA added that the premises will also be charged under the Environmental Public Health (Funeral Parlours) Regulations for the infringements.

According to Straits Times, the two bodies that were mixed-up had been lying in the same room at Century Products.

Furthermore, NEA also investigated Harmony Funeral Care, the company who implicated in the mix-up.

The investigations revealed that insufficient measures were put in place by the funeral director to ensure the proper handling of the body, resulting in the “egregious error”, noted NEA.

A male employee of the company reportedly told the family members of the remains that he had verified which body to collect via “facial recognition”.

However, the mix-up occurred when the employee collected the wrong body from the embalmer.

The company also turned down the family’s request to see the CCTV footage of the incident.

Consequently, NEA stated that the company will be barred from using government after-death facilities at Mandai Crematorium and Choa Chu Kang Crematorium and Cemetery until it can prove that satisfactory measures have been implemented to prevent such future errors.

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