Horrified mourners were left in floods of tears after undertakers arrived at a funeral service with the wrong coffin, it emerged today.
Thankfully when the hearse arrived at Southampton Crematorium a member of staff checked the nameplate and realised it was not the body of a 77-year-old.
Witnesses said the incident left mourners sobbing in the chapel as they waited for the correct coffin.
Funeral directors Nigel Guilder Ltd from Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire, immediately set about collecting the right casket after the error was pointed out.
They left and returned shortly afterwards having swapped the coffin for the correct one.
While this happened the family were asked to wait in the chapel while the transfer took place.
Friends and relatives had gathered at the East Chapel of Southampton Crematorium to say their final farewells.
Their loved one had passed away at the age of 77 following a long illness.
It is not yet clear whether the family of the person whose name was on the first coffin has been informed of what happened.
Nigel Guilder Ltd and the family have declined to comment about the ordeal.
Another funeral director said: ‘This is a horrendous thing to happen for any family.
‘There are enough processes in place to make sure this not to happen.’
Family-owned Nigel Guilder Ltd offers three types of funeral plan from a simple 3,085 pounds plan to an ‘exclusive’ £3,690 personalised package.
A spokesman for Southampton City Council, which runs the crematorium, said: ‘The council has a system in place at the crematorium.
‘The nameplate on every coffin is checked before it can enter the chapel.
‘This very unfortunate and rare mistake was therefore identified very quickly and the independent funeral director concerned took immediate steps to rectify the situation.
‘The family were invited into the chapel to wait until the service could begin.’
Read more: Daily Mail