Cremation mix-up: NEA takes action against funeral service firms

NEA said it found that Century Products funeral parlour – which also provides embalming services – had not kept proper records of the bodies being received or removed from its premises. (PHOTO: Getty Creative)

SINGAPORE — Punitive actions have been taken against a funeral parlour and funeral director following a mix-up that led to a wrong body being cremated.

In a statement on Sunday (5 January), the National Environment Agency (NEA) said it found that the Century Products funeral parlour – which also provides embalming services – had not kept proper records of the bodies being received or removed from its premises.

“NEA has thus issued a notice to suspend the licence of Century Products funeral parlour until the licensee is able to demonstrate improvements to its record keeping to prevent future errors,” said NEA. It added that the licensee will also be charged under the Environmental Public Health (Funeral Parlours) Regulations.

The agency also investigated the actions of the implicated funeral director, Harmony Funeral Care, and found that it had not put in place sufficient measures “to ensure the proper handling of the body, which resulted in the egregious error”.

“NEA will bar Harmony Funeral Care from the use of government after-death facilities at Mandai Crematorium and Choa Chu Kang Crematorium & Cemetery until it can demonstrate to NEA that it has implemented satisfactory measures to prevent such future errors,” the agency added.

According to a Straits Times report, the mix-up in 82-year-old Kee Kin Tiong’s send-off occurred when an employee collected the Kee’s body from Century Products by mistake. Kee’s body and that of another 70-year-old man had been lying in the same room at the time.

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