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16 April 2024

Hong Kong hospital admits losing dead baby


A Hong Kong hospital has lost the body of a baby boy and is still unable to locate his corpse more than three weeks after his death, an official said.

Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital said in a statement the loss had been discovered during a routine check last Friday, but despite an "extensive search" the body of the baby had not been found.

The loss was revealed to the city's Hospital Authority and the police on Monday.

A report in the South China Morning Post said the family of the dead baby was only informed on Tuesday.

"The hospital has arranged to meet the family of the baby to explain the incident and extend an apology," a spokesman for the hospital said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"The hospital is very concerned about the incident and will co-operate with and assist the police in the investigation," the spokesman added.

The Post reported that the baby died on December 15 soon after being born prematurely at 35 weeks.

The body had been stored in an extra-large container at the hospital's mortuary along with an obese man, who was released for cremation on December 19, the report said.

Hospital chief executive Loretta Yam said storing bodies together was not normal practice, but she ruled out the possibility that the baby's remains had been cremated with the man, according to a report in The Standard newspaper.

The worker who handled the bodies has been suspended and a supervisor reprimanded, The Standard added.