Funeral Workers Stored Body of 490-Pound Man in Washroom for Weeks

Two funeral care workers in England have been fired after they allegedly stored the body of a man who weighed over 490 pounds in a washroom at the facility for around four weeks.

The unnamed man was allegedly kept in his coffin for four weeks in a washroom at the Central England Co-operative's funeral home in Great Brook Street, Birmingham, instead of being refrigerated in the mortuary, according to BirminghamLive.

The local outlet reported that the man was stored in the washroom instead of the mortuary because of his size, as the deceased weighed more than 490 pounds. His family allegedly visited him in that location before the funeral took place.

Following the allegations, Central England Co-operative launched an investigation into the two workers who kept him there and subsequently dismissed them as "their conduct fell below what was expected" from staff at the company.

A Co-Operative spokesperson told Newsweek on Monday: "We take the care of deceased very seriously and after we were informed of a potential issue we immediately spoke with the family.

"On completion of an internal investigation, disciplinary action has been taken and we can confirm that two colleagues have been dismissed."

The spokesperson said that the company "deeply regret the distress this has caused," and "have been working closely with the family to be open and transparent, to offer support and have sincerely apologized for what has happened.

"We are focused on care of the deceased and supporting families. We have strict processes in place in this regard and will be taking steps to ensure full compliance with them."

The man was laid to rest in Birmingham earlier in 2021, as a cremation was not able to take place because the width of his coffin exceeded the maximum size used at the crematorium.

His daughter, who also remains nameless to protect the family, told BirminghamLive that funeral homes need to do more to accommodate people of all sizes so that other families do not experience the same as hers.

"They do need to accommodate the larger people because we're not the only family to go through it. There's going to be plenty more families that are going to be put through the same situation we are, whether it's at present or in the future," she said.

"Someone else will come across this. It's not fair for another family to go through these hiccups. They are going through enough stress as it is. We were a tight family so we managed to hold it together and support each other."

Cooperative funeralcare facility in Birmingham
The Central England Co-operative funeralcare home in Birmingham, England, where two employees were sacked after allegedly storing a deceased man in a washroom instead of the mortuary for four weeks. Google Maps