Are bodies cremated individually or several at once?

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filthiestfis | 01:23 Wed 23rd Aug 2006 | How it Works
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Not sure if this question is in the right section but here goes:

When a body is cremated, is it done together with other bodies at once, or separately? If together, how would you know for sure that the ashes you have are of the person that you grieve for, and not a mish mash of ashes from everyone?


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as far as i know they are individual - that includes the coffin and lining too...

i saw and experiment on spontaneous human combustion wherethey showed one of the crematorium ovens and they would only have fit one in at a time
Question Author
I didnt know that the coffin went in too! what do you want a coffin for if the body is getting burnt!
I used to service and maintain cremators here in the uk.
Body's are burned individually, as some burn quicker than others. When burned, the remains are collected, and tthe remains ground down into ash powder. Then the ashes are given to the funeral directors.
Question Author
thanks. How are the remains ground down? did you enjoy the work? How was the pay?
There was a man on the radio recently who worked in a crematorium and he said that they burnt several at the same time and often the ashes can contain part of another person
chazza - that man on the radio was a liar. Everything says above is 100% correct.

Often the bigger bones don't burn completely and are crushed in a special machine designed for that purpose.
Depending on the type of wood used for the casket, a good proportion of the ash is from the coffin. The ashes are symbolic. A body can be freezedried and pulverised but that is repulsive to many. Cremation is an ancient and honorable custom.
Cremation incinerators are mostly only big enough to take one body. It all depends on where you are as to whether jewellery is removed or goes in too, and if the body is left in the coffin or has to be in a cardboard box. The oven/furnace only gets hot enough to get rid of soft body parts and make the bones weaker. The crematorium workers do what they can to get all the burned remains of one body out before the next goes in, but it is not 100%. The bits of ash and mangled bones are then put into a 'pulveriser' which minces them up into the 'ashes' that go into the urn. Not exactly my idea of treating the deceased with the respect they deserve !
I worked in the UK Funeral industry for years, and my Hubbie still does.

Most UK crematoriums have several Cremators, so they can perform several Cremations at the same time. Once a Coffin enters the Crematorium (again UK rules) premises no one is allowed to interfere (i.e. open) the Coffin. The Coffin is placed intact into the Cremator (definately no re-cycling of Coffins in the UK!).

Once the Cremation process is complete and the remains have cooled down they are placed into a Machine called a Cremulator. This is somewhat like a Cement mixer, but with Metal balls inside which crush the remains down into a fine'ish Ash. These remains are then placed into a Container and returned to the family.

So ... I guess you may get a very small amount of the Ashes which were previously cremulated, but it would just be a very very tiny amount I think.

too much info??? lols
I knew I shouldn't have taken so long to type that lot up! lols

Sorry for repeating what was said above - I'm a slow typist and kept getting interrupted!

(Good user name Morticiah)

Everytime we've been shown a crematorium on Life of Grime, it has shown single incinerators. It's unthinkable to have mixed up ashes, because they mean so much to people.

Secondly, once on LoG, they showed the operators very carefully cleaning out the crushing machine between 'jobs', just to avoid cross-contamination.
Thanks Catso... I also enjoy watching LoG

The Laws relating to Cremation in the Uk are very strict.

At the Crematoriums that I've experienced, I feel there would be very little opportunity to mix Remains (apart from any Metal bits which are stored separately for Burial later) and the staff are incredibly sensitive to the nature of their job.

In our area, the local Crematorium is happy to arrange 'a tour or open evening' (!!) for interested people, and the staff are more than happy to answer any questions from the Public.
I read a fantastic book once called Chop Shop, it was all about a funeral parlour in America that stole body parts and sold them to the medical industry and also used to cremate bodies on mass and then just put the ash into a big container and dish out a handfull when the relatives came by. 202-6978088-9265410?v=glance&n=266239&s=gatewa y&v=glance

Ture story and in the end they got away with it.
My father was cremated in July, but what really upsets me is that the cheapest coffin (London prices) was �404!!! Just to be burnt!!! No sensible person would normally just hand over that amount of money for someone to put on the fire - it seems we have no choice. Or perhaps we have but it involves a lot of messing about - the last thing that the bereaved family wants. In fact with just the bare minimum of services the cremation process still cost over �2,600 and that was with the discount for prompt payment!
Hi WoWo, I think the ChopShop thing was actually really recent wasn't it? I remember the shock/horror wave that went through the UK Funeral Industry!

In the UK, there have been recent discussions about re-using the metal replacement body parts that often remain (hip joints, titanium plates etc). They are often incredibly expensive bits of medical stuff that could be re-used (?????) - though I'm not sure how people would react to this kind of recycling.

Ed, I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, and I do agree about the Coffin prices. They are outrageous.

One of the reasons I left the Business was that kind of pricing! The mark-up on Coffins and Cremated Remains containers is absolutely disgraceful.

Friends of mine purchased a Cardboard coffin in advance of their Mum dying but very few people can be that organised,
Worrying about buying things like a coffin is the last thing a family needs at that time!

All I can suggest to people is try to be prepared if you want anything other than a Standard funeral!

it wouldn't surprise me if most crem put the body in a cardboard box beforehand and sold the coffins off.

although this is rather sneaky and underhand, it actually makes more sense then just burning hundreds of pound worth of coffins and wasting wood and fuel.

perhaps the nicer directors could donate the coffins to charity
hello..bodies in a regular funeral homes are cremated individually ofcourse. it just make sense so that when the ashes were asked by the family it won't be mixed with someone elses.
Question Author
yeah it wouldnt be the right thing to do, but in today's greedy, sneaky, underhanded culture, would it not make you think twice that in order to make money they are performing underhanded tactics like putting 2 bodies in at once, or using carboard coffin instead? Do you really think that some of the people who work with bodies share the same level of sensitivity to them as the family of the deceased does? I think they see each one as a piece of meat, just like in an abbatoir. Lets face it, there will be those who are doing the job purely for the money and lack of skills in other departments.
When my turn comes I`ve told the family I don`t want an expensive coffin but a cardboard one.
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I wanna be buried with 2 bitches :o)

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