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Vatican eases rules on the ashes of the dead

A view shows the Rome skyline before Pope Francis' weekly general audience at the Vatican, on 23rd September, 2020

Vatican CityReuters A small part of a dead person’s cremated ashes may be stored in a place that was dear to them rather than in a church or cemetery, the Vatican said on Tuesday, softening its previous stance on the issue. In previous guidance from 2016, the Vatican said the ashes must be kept in […]

Sobbing relatives of Nepal quake victims cremate loved ones

A boy covers himself with a blanket as he lies down on a floor next to a house collapsed during an earthquake in Jajarkot, Nepal, on 5th November, 2023

Chiuri, Nepal Reuters Sobbing relatives of victims from Nepal’s worst earthquake in eight years cremated their loved ones on Sunday as rescuers looked for people who could still be trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. Surrounding about 10 bodies shrouded in white cloth in a tarpaulin tent, relatives prepared garlands of marigolds for the […]

Libya’s flood-ravaged Derna struggles to cope with thousands of corpses

People walk amidst the wreckage, in the aftermath of the floods in Derna, Libya, on 15th September, 2023

Derna, LibyaReuters Residents and rescue workers in the devastated Libyan city of Derna are struggling to cope with the thousands of corpses washing up or decaying under rubble, after a flood that smashed down buildings and swept people to sea. The World Health Organization and other aid groups urged authorities in Libya to stop burying […]

Hearses queue at Beijing crematorium, even as China reports no new COVID deaths

China Beijing hearses

Beijing, China Reuters Dozens of hearses queued outside a Beijing crematorium on Wednesday, even as China reported no new COVID-19 deaths in its growing outbreak, sparking criticism of its virus accounting as the capital braces for a surge of cases.  After widespread protests, the country of 1.4 billion people this month began dismantling its unpopular […]

“So many bodies piled up”: Hong Kong funeral services overwhelmed by COVID

China Hong Kong coronavirus isolation facility

Hong Kong, ChinaReuters Traditional wooden coffins are running short in Hong Kong as authorities scramble to add mortuary space in the global financial hub’s battle on COVID-19, which is swamping funeral parlours. “I have never seen so many bodies piled up together,” said funeral director Lok Chung, 37, who has been working round the clock, […]

Bodies float down Ganges as nearly 4,000 more die of COVID in India

India New Delhi crematorium worker

Lucknow, IndiaReuters Scores of bodies are washing up on the banks of the Ganges as Indians fail to keep pace with the deaths and cremations of around 4,000 people a day from the novel coronavirus. India currently accounts for one in three of the reported deaths from coronavirus around the world, according to a Reuters […]

India crowdfunds millions for its weary crematorium workers

India New Delhi cremations relatives in PPE

Mumbai, IndiaThomson Reuters Foundation Pity the undertakers – burying and burning all day long, chanting deep into the night yet never keeping pace with the corpses of India’s COVID-19 crisis. And all for what? “For every one body that I perform last rites for, there are a dozen more waiting. There is no social distancing, […]

Non-stop cremations cast doubt on India’s counting of COVID dead

India Mumbai cremation

Ahmedabad/Lucknow/New Delhi, IndiaReuters Gas and firewood furnaces at a crematorium in the western Indian state of Gujarat have been running so long without a break during the COVID-19 pandemic that metal parts have begun to melt. “We are working around the clock at 100 per cent capacity to cremate bodies on time,” Kamlesh Sailor, the […]