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Flats overrun by maggots from rotting corpse

Geoff Mortimore · 28 Aug 2011, 10:43

Published: 28 Aug 2011 10:43 GMT+02:00

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The two residents, referred to in local media as Eva and Birger, first noticed a pungent smell three weeks ago and every morning Eva started finding maggots by her bed which backed onto the neighbours wall.

She and her husband, as well as the neighbour Birger then discovered more maggots on their balconies.

After closer inspection, Eva discovered. to her horror that her bed and the skirting boards in the bedroom were infested. Despite efforts to solve the problem though, worse was to follow.

”In the mornings when I woke up there were maggots on the floor and the flies everywhere. The maggots crawled away when it is light and come back in the dark,” Eva told the local Sundsvall Tidning newspaper.

When Eva alerted housing management company HSB she was told to simply vacuum the maggots up. However the problem and the smell refused to go away, so the environmental authorities were called to deal with it.

Even they couldn’t put a stop to the smell though, until finally the cause of the problem was traced to the apartment next door where the dead body was discovered.

However that wasn’t the end of the couple’s problems. They were forced to throw out both the bed and the vacuum cleaner, which are worth some 15,000 kronor ($2,400) according to Eva.

HSB told them that the insurance on the building did not cover personal property, so they were not eligible for any kind of reimbursement, while the couple’s own insurers Folksam also refused to pay out, apparently because pests and insects are not covered under their policy.

Story continues below…

However, Folksam did in the end agree to a 2,000 kronor payout because the couple had made no previous claims.

Geoff Mortimore (mortimore.geoff@gmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

12:32 August 28, 2011 by benomax
Wonders shall never end. I hope this situation will help change the attitude of people who cannot even say hello to their neigbours. Too bad that no body asked after the dead person for almost three weeks, this is horrible.
13:07 August 28, 2011 by lovedealer76
That's the western culture for you,mind your own business,rediculous!
13:38 August 28, 2011 by Svensksmith
@ lovedealer

Last fall, a neighbor died in a tree cutting accident. We all pitched in and help harvest his crops, put away firewood, plow the drive in the winter and, this spring, helped organize the auction of all his tools and farming equiptment. That's western culture, farmer style.
15:36 August 28, 2011 by ccb

That is Swedish culture not western culture...I know all my neighbours, see and speak to them regularly.
16:37 August 28, 2011 by Tysknaden
This is western culture. Stuff like this happens in the US, in Gemany - et cetera. No need to insult Sweden.
16:46 August 28, 2011 by The_Truthisbitter
Welcome to the Wild Wild West!!! No greeting, no curiosity, no nothing, just mind your own damn business, because even trying to help might put you in hot water. The Ambulance Services will say you were not supposed to bring a patient to hospital..So long as they dont come, the person rather DIE than you offering to help..Thats life in the Wild Wild West
16:59 August 28, 2011 by Tysknaden
And in the Wild Wild East you starve to death, or you are killed with a stoning by your friendly and extremely involved society, or you are executed for having said the wrong word.
20:14 August 28, 2011 by enjoysnj
Such events perhaps indicate some characteristics of a developed country. So, when the east will get developed, such events might happen there as well.
20:57 August 28, 2011 by djmarko
Thats what minding your own business does, find it a bit hard getting used to not even been good friends to your neighbours, back in the Uk, it was quite common for neighbours to know each other, help each other out, who knows the person could have been saved if only there was a quick knock on the door to ask if the person was doing well, thats way of thinking is quite dangerous though, believe attitudes need to change!!!
21:04 August 28, 2011 by johan rebel
So why was this Eva "forced" to chuck her vacuum cleaner and bed? Maggots eat dead bodies, not vacuum cleaners and beds. The latter can actually be decontaminted.
22:13 August 28, 2011 by echo lily
That's horrible! Is there someone really care about the dead?

The story makes me feel guity~

Maybe I should cook some cakes and come to say hello to my old neighbour~
23:59 August 28, 2011 by m4ria
I was living in Sweden for 1 year and a half and I just spoke a few words with my neighbour and it was the day the water fail.
00:51 August 29, 2011 by underskyofsweden
This story has at least 2 things to say:

1- The machinery age has made the people less and less care of each other. Everyone traces his or her friend's Facebook page but nobody care of a neighbor nearby!

2- Insurance companies sucks! There is always a way to exclude some compensations and screw up the people!
01:45 August 29, 2011 by mkvgtired

back in the Uk, it was quite common for neighbours to know each other, help each other out, who knows the person could have been saved if only there was a quick knock on the door"

Same with the places I've lived in the US. People say this about "urban" people as opposed to rural people. I think you can know your neighbors anywhere. I lived in a high-rise in Chicago and knew all my neighbors (mostly same floor). One was an elderly woman so I would check on her every now and then (when I had time to move heavy things lol) and she would bake me things, and offer countless thank yous. Knowing your neighbors makes living anywhere more pleasant and gives people the opportunity to have someone to ask for help if they need it.
11:38 August 29, 2011 by charubun pananon
I didn't know why thier dead neighbour didn't turn to be the ghost and came to inform them that he or she was dead so this situation would not be happened badly to them.
12:22 August 29, 2011 by jamesblish
Fist of all: the insurance company and the building owner are both a-holes. The couple should not have to pay for this.

Second: The Sweden-bashing amongst some people in here is beginning to reach ridiculous levels at this point. This happens everywhere, all the time, in every western country. How many cases like this have there been in Japan? They had a guy there who'd been dead for over 20 years without anyone noticing! And even though it might a little sad at first glance, it's not really that strange either.

How often do you go and see your old mom or dad? More often than every three weeks? Didn't think so. And do you really call the copy immediately when a friend you don't see every day suddenly doesn't return your call? No. Go to any large or fairly large city in any country and the pattern's the same. People don't know their neighbor. In fact, that's one of the reasons people move to the city - because they get to be anonymous.
17:45 August 29, 2011 by Heebz
At first I thought of how horrible it was that yet again, there is another reported case of a dead person left to rot in their apartment. Then upon further discussion with some people, I realized that some people want to be left alone. Some people just don't want any contact with their friends or families. It is a very sad thing. How can anyone live with such an unbearable stench for almost three weeks? I just hope this doesn't happen to anybody again....having maggots eat your corpse before being buried is a very unpleasant thing.
01:53 August 30, 2011 by missjane30
I live in the US and in the community I live all of my neighbors as well as myself pull into our garages at night, and put the garage door down before we even get out of the car. So I think it's unfair to say it's a Swedish behavior not to talk to people/neighbors. I have lived in my house for two years now, and couldn't tell you a single one of my neighbor's names.

The thing that gets me is the couple not realizing what that smell was. Not to be totally gross but the smell of death is unmistakable.
10:17 August 30, 2011 by cogito
Where I lived in the U.S. people checked up or visited with elderly neighbors every day. It was the same in France. Once, in France, I was housebound with a broken leg. Neighbors I barely knew offered to shop for food for me.
14:22 August 30, 2011 by missjane30
@ cogito

You must have lived in a community where neighbors were friendly, and I know we have a lot that are, mine just isn't one of them. And I don't live in a big city, I live outside of a city in the burbs'.

I'm glad that you had such a good experience with your neighbors, that's awesome.
04:21 August 31, 2011 by Sir James
This, I am sorry to say happens in the United States. I am retired law enforcement officer, I have as have my other law men and women have. It is sad.
00:54 September 4, 2011 by Miss May
Svensksmith, your comment made me feel happy. Wanted you to know.

Nowhere in this article did it mention anything about the person who had died. so, the neglect has followed him or her from first to last. I wonder if this poor soul had a burial and anybody at all to say a few kind words? I believe that we all leave our bodies here, but take the rest. Bon Voyage dear person. In your Soul, you are now free.

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