A hearse transporting a corpse went up in flames in Paarl, Western Cape, on Saturday morning.
Both the hearse and the coffin were destroyed but the body inside the coffin did not suffer damage, said Drakenstein municipality spokesperson Riana Geldenhuys.
“Drakenstein municipality’s fire services responded to a fire call involving a hearse at 8.14am … in Broadway Street in Paarl East,” said Geldenhuys.
“When the firefighting vehicle and firefighters arrived on the scene they discovered that the hearse, with a body of a deceased person in a coffin inside, was on fire. They went on to extinguish the fire as speedily as possible.”
Geldenhuys said the hearse was severely damaged in the fire.
Retracting an earlier statement that the body in the coffin was damaged, Geldenhuys said: “The undertaker has since confirmed to Drakenstein Municipality that this was not the case. The fire was intense and the coffin significantly damaged, but the undertaker has confirmed that the body did not suffer damage.
“The municipality apologises for any possible distress caused by our earlier report. The cause of the fire is unknown, and is being investigated by the SA Police Service.”