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Family refuses to claim 'lonely corpse' in Austria

DPA/The Local · 13 Jan 2010, 10:42

Published: 13 Jan 2010 10:42 GMT+01:00

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The man, who hailed from Gülzow in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, remains in the Klagenfurt district hospital morgue despite appeals to the family. Austrian officials say the awkward situation is a first for them.

After weeks of uncertainty, the community of Techelsberg has offered to pay for the man’s cremation.

“Tomorrow we have an appointment with a lawyer with whom we will document that the relatives have given their consent for a cremation in Austria,” said Helmut Pirolt from a burial service in Kärnten.

The 40-year-old truck driver died of what was believed to be a heart attack at a Techelsberg motorway rest stop. But when the community contacted the man’s father about having the body sent home across the border, he refused due to cost concerns.

“It’s an official passage, one can’t simply do it alone,” Pirolt said. Relatives would be required to hire an undertaker to take the body some 1,200 kilometres, which he estimated would cost about €3,500 alone without burial expenses.

“The relatives just weren’t willing to take this on,” he added.

Story continues below…

But after the body is cremated by Techelsberg the man’s relatives will have a more affordable option to bring him home – they can pay about €2,000 to have him transported to Germany in an urn.

“Sending is then much easier with registered mail,” Pirolt said.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:01 January 13, 2010 by auniquecorn
They can drive down there, put him in the ashtray, and drive right back across. Nobody will ever know.
15:35 January 13, 2010 by garryq
Germany, and probably Austria, does not allow ashes to be scattered anywhere, details have to be handled by undertakers.
16:29 January 13, 2010 by erdinger
Throw him in a Kockeloven. End of problem
22:24 January 13, 2010 by wxman
Oh please, the corpse is not "lonely". I assure you, it does not give a s _ _ t.
22:39 January 14, 2010 by lordwilliams629
Donate it to a medical college, it'll mean his life had some meaning. Or what the heck sell his head to a pub and put in a jar of alcohol on the shelf, it could make a nice conversation piece while getting drunk.
02:01 January 15, 2010 by sc123
this is ridiculous, why does everything have to revolve around money. The father should be ashamed of himself. He is an unfit father.
11:30 January 15, 2010 by StaceyP
@sc123 "He is an unfit father." My god - what a horrible thing to say!

Not everyone has loads of money to spend on a funeral / transportation of a body and surely the mans living relatives should take priority over any dead ones? As wxman so nicely pointed out - the corpse does not actually care....
20:59 January 15, 2010 by Cincinnatus
The most important point is that, if this corpse is cremated, who will be responsible for purchasing the carbon credit offset from Al Gores Carbon Brokerage? Likewise, there must be carbon offsets purchased for any transportation pollution to be emitted on behalf of this corpse. Again, the Al Gore Carbon Credit Corp. can be of assistance.
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