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Airport Error Returns Body of Deceased Irish Citizen to Greece

The mishap at Dublin Airport led to a change in funeral arrangements. Credit: Doyler79 , CC BY 3.0/Wikipedia

The remains of an Irish citizen that were being repatriated to Ireland were accidentally sent back to Greece after airport authorities forgot to remove the coffin from the plane last month, Irish media reported.

After an Irish citizen died abroad, his coffin was returned to his home country from his place of death, being transported on a flight from Greece to Dublin on May 22nd.

However, after the deceased’s family waited at the airport with a hearse, an error kept the coffin from being unloaded from the plane.

After what Irish media and Dublin Airport officials referred to as a “misload,” the coffin was nowhere to be found as the family waited to convey their loved one to his final resting place.

Ground service’s failure to unload the remains resulted in the body returning on another flight to Greece.

Delayed funeral arrangements for the Irish citizen

This mishap wreaked havoc on the family, who had no choice but to return home and change funeral arrangements.

The company which handled the return of the deceased had to spring into action to resolve the problem.

Swissport, the company responsible for airport ground services operations at Dublin Airport reorganized the body’s repatriation via a different airline, returning the next day. The company issued a formal apology to the family of the deceased, according to Irish media.

​A spokesperson for the company stated that an internal investigation has been launched into this error.

“We are deeply sorry for the family’s experience at such a difficult time and did everything we could to ensure things were resolved as quickly as possible,” the company stated.

“We are now conducting an urgent investigation to make sure lessons are learned.”

The body was initially returned on a flight to Dublin via Aegean Airlines,  but returned the next day on a different carrier.

The Dublin Airport Authority declined to comment on the incident, according to Irish media.

The airport is located in Collinstown, 7 km (4.3 mi) north of Dublin, and 3 km (1.9 mi) south of the town of Swords.

In 2019, 32.9 million passengers passed through the airport, making it the airport’s busiest year on record.

It is the 12th busiest airport in Europe, and is the busiest of Ireland’s airports by total passenger traffic; it also has the largest traffic levels in Ireland, followed by Belfast International Airport.

The airport has an extensive short and medium-haul network, served by an array of carriers, as well as a significant long-haul network focused on North America and the Middle East.

It serves as the main hub for Ireland’s flag carrier Aer Lingus, and is a primary operating base for Europe’s largest low-cost carrier Ryanair.

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