Unfeeling Iceland?

Granadino, José Ignacio Soto Roldán died on Thursday the 18th of last month in Akureyri (Iceland) but what followed was shameful.

This 33-year-old man from Malahá had gone to that country some weeks before to find work and make a new start in life but there he met his death from a heart attack – his family all suffer from heart conditions.

The task of getting his body back home for burial, some 3,000 kilometres, just added one nightmare to another owing to the apparent cold attitude of the local Icelandic authorities.

His 57-year-old aunt, Rosa María, told how following his death his Spanish companions informed the authorities. The coroner signed the death certificate and the body was removed in an ambulance to the local morgue.

A little later his friends were informed that the body was to be transferred to the capital, Reykjavik, that following Monday.

“They transported my nephew’s body in a refrigerated lorry normally used for transporting fruit and veg,” lamented the aunt, but was informed that this has always been the practice for the last 30 years.

But it didn’t end there because the lorry driver got lost and left the body out in the open in the port.

A friend of the family who works for the said transport company Eimskip, who had heard that one of its fleet was making the transfer, discovered the body in a crate next to normal fruit crates. She contacted the central office and found out that the body had been transported in a plastic coffin.

She contacted the deceased’s friends who finally managed to get the body to its correct destination in Reykjavik but the nine hours exposed to normal outside temperature had caused considerable deterioration to the body.

Then there is the fact that José did not have any insurance/funeral plans and the family simply doesn’t have the money. Faced with all the difficulties and the lack of cooperation at the other end, they have opted for cremation in Reykjavik but the funeral parlour now says that it needs permission from the Icelandic police go ahead with the cremation – just another setback in the return of José to Malahá

(News: Malaha, Vega de Granada, Andalucia)

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