The unnamed family held a service three weeks ago after a stranger’s remains were cremated at Sirhowy Valley Crematorium.
It has since emerged that there was a mixup in the morgue at The Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran, South Wales that meant the wrong body was provided.
An internal investigation has been launched into the incident and the mistake has been put down to an “isolated human error”.
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“We are utterly heartbroken about what has happened to the family, and we take responsibility for this isolated incident,” a spokesperson for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said. “Words cannot express how sorry we are.
“We have met with the family to fully inform them about this situation and to offer them as much support as they need.”
They went on to reassure the public that this was an isolated and “exceptional” case. It is also believed that there is no known family of the other patient that was cremated.
The health board spokesperson added: “No words we can say, or actions we can take, can put this right. We are deeply sorry, and our thoughts and full support remain with the family.”
A spokesperson for the crematorium, which is part of Westerleigh Group, toldthe South WalesArgus: “We pride ourselves on providing exceptional care and support to all families we serve and as such we treat their right to privacy incredibly seriously.
“We do not have permission to provide any comments without the consent of families.”