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Oversized coffins complicate cremation

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11:15 CEST+02:00
Swedes are getting larger and this is starting to cause problems post-mortem as coffins are proving too large to fit into cremation ovens.

Swedes are growing both lengthways and widthways as a result of a comfortable standard of living brought about by sustained economic prosperity.

Funeral directors in Sweden confirm that the resultant demand for roomier coffins has on occasion required switching to conventional burial as existing cremation facilities are unable to cope, Sveriges Radio (SR) reports.

"The relatives have perhaps had an idea about how it should be carried out, and perhaps the deceased has expressed a wish to be cremated. One is then obliged to take this into account, but practical reasons determine how it should be carried out," Bengt-Erik Eriksson at a Stockholm firm of funeral directors told SR's Ekot news program.

A regular sized coffin measures two metres long and 60 centimetres wide. But orders for larger coffins are on the increase.

In response to the demand for greater capacity a new cremation facility is under construction in Malmö which can manage coffins of up to a metre wide. Existing capacity in Sweden can cope with a coffin of up to a maximum of 90 centimetres.

"It think that it is wise of Malmö to take on board projections that we in the west are getting bigger," said Jan-Olov Andersson of the Swedish churchyard and crematorium association (SKKF) to Ekot.

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