A BUNGLING airline has apologised after mixing-up coffins and sending the body of a dead man to the wrong funeral in the wrong country.
Primary school teacher Oyvind Frederikson, 57, died in hospital on May 5 from a lung infection when doctors in Tromso, Norway, could do no more.
Plans were made to lay him to rest in Mandal near Kristiansand in the south of the country and for Scandinavian airline SAS to transport the body.
But at Oslo airport his casket was apparently mistaken for another taking the body of a man who had also died in Norway to Gdansk, Poland.
It was received by a funeral director in Poland and used at a service last week in front of unsuspecting mourners before being placed in a mausoleum.
Meanwhile, the family of Mr Frederikson were forced to postpone his funeral and plead with Polish authorities to give his body back.
After a bureaucratic nightmare, the coffin is due in Mandal this week.
Son Tomas, 35, fumed: “We are broken and empty. We cannot understand how this has happened. It is unworthy treatment.
“I don’t think anyone has experienced this before. We have been told there was a funeral service (in Poland) with many guests.”
Tomas, who said last goodbyes to his dad in hospital with his sister Therese, said:”Before he died, he said he wanted to be buried in Mandal. I promised him.”
A spokesman for SAS said: “There are now concrete plans to bring the body home to Norway. We have talked to relatives who share the joy at us getting the coffin home.
“At the same time, we again express our regret that something like this should happen.”
The airline said an “incredible strain had been placed on the family, but measures were being put in place to ensure such a mix-up never happened again.