A GRIEVING family buried a total stranger after a body mix-up at the OAP’s funeral.
The mourners had no idea they didn’t know the man in the coffin as they attended an emotional farewell service.
The wrong person – who was supposed to be cremated – was buried at St Mary’s Church in Rockcliffe, near Carlisle on July 6.
It was only realised the next day when mortuary staff contacted funeral directors to ask when the body of the man due to be buried would be collected.
The buried man was then exhumed nine days after the funeral, with the right person buried on the same day.
A spokesperson for North Cumbria Integrated Care Foundation NHS Trust told the News and Star: “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 added: “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.
“Clearly, something has gone terribly wrong. We handed in paperwork for the man whose body we believed we were collecting. There are protocols to ensure we have who we think we have.
“We didn’t realise we had another person’s body. We feel for the families.”
Last year we told how a heartbroken family sat through a funeral with the wrong body inside the coffin, sparking an investigation.
The family had said their final goodbyes at the Coventry crematorium – but had no idea the body inside was the wrong one.
It was only after the service at Canley Crematorium finished that the error was realised.