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Fireworks stolen from van

A large number of potentially dangerous fireworks have been stolen from a van in the north bound car park at Birtley Services.

The fireworks were going to be used at a display tonight.

The stolen fireworks are known as "onion bombs" because of their long fuse. Police and pyrotechnic experts say they are deceptive as, once lit, they could explode in seconds.

They were stolen sometime between 7.30pm on Thursday October 31 and 7.30am November 1.

"These fireworks are east to recognise as they are not in the usual wrapped boxes that fireworks come in. They are in plan brown boxes and in spite of having long fuses they take a fraction of a second to explode.

"We'd like to reassure residents we are investigating this theft. Anyone who has any information in relation to the theft or whereabouts of the fire works should contact Northumbria Police on extension 101 extension 69191.

"If anyone is offered these fireworks they should call police. They should not be handled"

– Phil Davison, Northumbria Police

Date set for Moat victim inquest

A date has been set for the inquest into the death of a man who was killed by gunman Raoul Moat.

Chris Brown, 29, was shot and killed in Gateshead after starting a relationship with Moat's ex-girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, two days after he was released from jail in July 2010.

A two-week inquest will be held into the circumstances of Chris Brown's murder in Birtley, with the hearing starting at Newcastle Crown Court on 2nd December.

Full Report: Wrong body cremated

It has emerged that staff working for Co-Op Funeral care at Birtley in Gateshead mixed up bodies, and took the wrong one to a cremation service.

The mistake wasn't picked up until it was too late, and one family subsequently had to have a funeral without the body of their relative.

Two people have since been dismissed and a full investigation into the incident, which happened last month, is now underway.

Watch the full report from Kenny Toal below.

National

Funeral workers sacked for cremating wrong body

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.

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Statement from Co-operative Funeralcare

Co-operative Funeralcare have issued the following statement after it came to light that the wrong body had been cremated at a service at Birtley crematorium last month.

Two people have been sacked.

“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.

In the interests of client confidentiality we are unable to comment further.”

– Spokesperson for Co-operative Funeralcare

Two sacked after cremating wrong body

Co-Operative Funeralcare has admitted cremating the wrong body at a service held in Gateshead last month.

It meant that a second family had to attend a service without their relative's body at all after the company made the mistake at Birtley Crematorium.

The Co-Op says that it has sacked two members of staff, after finding that they had breached procedures.

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