Family cremates wrong body after hospital mix-up

cremation

GEORGE TOWN: A family has cremated the wrong body following a mix-up by Penang Hospital staff.

The Sun Daily today reported that the Ho family had the body of Fong Meng Tuck, 60, cremated – a mistake that was only discovered after the Fong family went to the hospital mortuary to claim his body.

The Fong family were shocked to discover that not only had his body been claimed, it had also been cremated.

Fong Chee Keong, 32, the son of Meng Tuck, said for now, the family was focusing on giving his father a proper send-off.

“The most important thing now is to let my father rest in peace,” he said at the wake in Lebuh Macallum today.

Chee Keong said efforts to verify the identity of the cremated remains (cremains) were ongoing and the hospital had taken blood samples from family members.

“We are waiting for the results, expected tomorrow,” the factory engineer said.

The mix-up occurred because the mortuary staff had apparently released Meng Tuck’s body to the undertaker.

The body of 50-something Ho Swee Kim, which was badly decomposed, was sent to the mortuary on Sunday, and the body of Meng Tuck, a road crash victim, about 2am on Monday.

Instead of Swee Kim’s body, the hospital staff released Meng Tuck’s body to the undertaker engaged by the Ho family.

A Health Ministry statement said the staff member involved in the mix-up had been suspended pending investigation and disciplinary action.