A grieving family has been left doubly devastated after it
emerged the coffin containing their deceased relative
released to them by a West Australian hospital was empty.
The WA Country Health Service has launched an immediate
investigation into how the empty coffin was released to the
family in Meekatharra in the state's Mid West region.
It is understood the coffin was buried before it was realised
the body was not inside.
Margaret Denton, the regional director of the Midwest section
of the WA Country Health Service, admitted the situation was
"I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the
deceased's family and apologise for the distress that this
has caused them," Ms Denton said.
"I can't imagine the distress that his must have caused this
The investigation will look into all aspects of the error,
which is said to have come to light last week.
"As soon as I became aware of this, I started an immediate
investigation to determine how this had occurred," Ms Denton
"Information from the investigation will be used to improve
systems and ensure that this doesn't happen again."
The distressed family would be kept fully informed, Ms Denton