1 February 2013

Namibia: Jarman Switches Babies' Coffins

TOMMY Jarman Funeral Services yesterday apologised profusely after switching coffins, resulting in the wrong baby being buried on Wednesday.

"There is no excuse for the train of events that led to this switch, resulting in the burial of the wrong child by a family in mourning," the undertaker's managing director, Adele Alberts, said.

The babies were both less than a month old.

Alberts said one of the company's technicians on Wednesday morning presented a family with the wrong coffin, which they took away and buried.

"When the second family arrived an hour later to identify and retrieve their loved one, they informed us that they did not know the baby. Subsequently, the switch of coffins became evident," Alberts said.

The Namibian understands that the body of baby wrongly buried was not exhumed, but that both families attended the burial of the second baby.

Alberts said Tommy Jarman Funeral Services had been "in close contact with both families in person for the additional pain and suffering casue during this already difficult time".

"We humbly ask for their forgiveness," she said.

The incident was resolved amicably, Alberts said. The undertaker will "thoroughly evaluate its systems and procedures to ensure such mistakes" won't be repeated, she said.

Tommy Jarman Funeral Services has been operating in Namibia for 40 years and handles funerals from branches in Rehoboth, Windhoek and Otjiwarongo.

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