Relatives and friends gathered in grief last Saturday to lay their beloved Liona Fos to rest.
Everything was ready as the coffin rested on the device that would slowly lower it into its final resting place.
Only it didn’t go as planned! Next moment the machine failed, causing the coffin to shoot into the grave.
When the dust finally settled, the family looked in horror as the body lay among what was left of the coffin!
Liona’s daughter, Gloria Fos (25), said: “The funeral was supposed to go smoothly.
“My mother did not deserve to be sent off like that.”
She said the coffin hit the ground and broke into pieces. The body was surrounded by pieces of shattered wood.
A video taken at Holpan Cemetery in the Northern Cape shows undertakers picking up the body and putting it in another coffin.
Tensions rose as the family wanted to clean the body of dust before it was put into a new coffin.
The family said the undertaker had since sent an apology but that it was not enough.
Judy Norton, founder and owner of Norton Funeral Services, said she personally apologised to the family after the incident.
“We were deeply shocked.”
She said company staff had checked the equipment before the burial.
“Everything was working well.”
Norton said following the incident an upgraded coffin was sent to the family. “We are willing to talk to them to see if there is any other thing we can help with. We are all very sad about what happened.”
The family has since lodged a complaint with the Funeral Industry Reformed Association.