Two funeral workers have been sacked from Co-operative Funeral care for cremating the wrong body.
The mix-up saw staff place the wrong body in a coffin and send it to Birtley Crematorium in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
Grieving friends and family, who thought they were saying their final goodbyes to someone they loved, were actually saying farewell to a complete stranger.
Co-operative Funeralcare have apologised to the family, and sacked the two workers involved. A spokesman said:
A serious breach of our strict procedures occurred and following a thorough investigation two members of staff have been dismissed.
Once the issue came to light, we immediately notified the families concerned and apologised for any distress caused and we have liaised closely with the crematoria. We remain in close contact with the families.