IN WHAT appears to have been a mistake by the pathology department of a local hospital, the bodies of two dead men were mixed up and the family of one ended up burying the wrong man.
State news agency TASR reported that an employee of a hospital in the southern Slovak town of Komárno apparently mixed up the bodies of 62-year-old V.M. and another deceased man, T.H., from Sväty Peter village.
The exchange was revealed shortly before the funeral of T.H. After opening the casket, T.H.'s son discovered with horror that the wrong man was lying inside.
V.M.'s widowed wife said she had claimed during a burial ceremony one day earlier that the man being buried was not her husband, but nobody believed her.
"Standing near the open casket, I repeated that this man was not my husband but everybody thought I just did not recognize him because of my grief," said the widow, H.M.
Head of the Astra undertakers office, Karol Vojtík, said that this was the first case of mistaken identity he had come across during his 30 years in the business.
"It is not our fault. On Tuesday [November 5] we requested the body of V.M. from Sväty Peter because his burial was scheduled for that afternoon. The deceased had already been dressed and was marked with a note carrying his name," Vojtík said.
One day after the revelation of the switch, the body of T.H., who had been buried by the V.M. family, was exhumed and transported to Komárno to be buried in his proper resting-place.
18. Nov 2002 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA