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No, sleeping morgue employee not ‘cremated by mistake’

A meme doing the rounds on Facebook claims a morgue employee was accidentally cremated “while taking a nap”.

The image shows a brick building and a news banner that reads “Breaking News Update: Funeral Home Investigation”.

The meme’s story is not new. The earliest version seems to have appeared online in March 2017. Several “news” articles have reported the incident since then.

The name of the ill-fated employee and location of the funeral home change with each report, but the basic storyline is the same – a sleeping morgue worker accidentally cremated.

Management of funeral home investigated

But there is no evidence that the incident ever took place. And while the photo is of a real funeral home in Memphis, Tennessee, no employee there was ever “cremated by mistake”.

A reverse image search shows the picture was first posted online in April 2016. It comes from a WREG-TV investigation that the TV station was conducting at the time, after viewers expressed concerns about management at the Hickory Hill funeral home.

Nowhere in the report is the accidental cremation of an employee mentioned. And the incident has not been reported by any reputable news agencies.

In its fact-check, Politifact called the story “ridiculous” and rated it “pants on fire”. We’re inclined to agree. - Africa Check (18/03/19)

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