Swiss family buries wrong person after morgue mix-up

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Swiss family buries wrong person after morgue mix-up
File photo: Steve Blackburn

A family in the canton of Valais who held a funeral for a loved one were told they buried the wrong body after a blunder by an undertaker.


The incident, reported on Monday by local Valais paper Le Nouvelliste, happened after an undertaker collected the wrong corpse from the Central Institute of Valais Hospitals (ICHV), the president of the Valais association of funeral services, Patrick Quarroz, told news agency ATS.

The mistake was only discovered when undertakers from another funeral home turned up at ICHV to collect the second corpse.

Given the first family had decided on burial rather than cremation, it was possible to exhume the body and proceed with a second funeral with the correct remains.

The error, thought to be the first such case in the canton, has caused uproar among professional undertakers, who say there are procedures in place to avoid such mix-ups.

“The compartments [in the mortuary] are numbered and the bodies have an identification bracelet,” Quarroz told ATS.

The situation caused considerable pain to the two families involved, said the report.


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