Manchester

Exploding coconut 'sent fear' through crematorium staff

Coconut
Image caption Bolton council has warned people against placing items in coffins as they can cause "a hell of an explosion" during cremation

A coconut that was placed inside a coffin "sent fear" through staff at a crematorium when it exploded.

Bolton Council has urged mourners to abide by crematorium rules and not "slip" items into coffins.

Donna Ball, Assistant Director of Community Services, said a "hell of an explosion can sometimes occur".

Other items of concern include mobile phones, TV remotes, e-cigarettes and bottles of alcohol.

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Ms Ball told the BBC: "We are asking people to be considerate regarding the items they place into coffins before the cremation process.

"We have seen a rise in things like e-cigarettes, bottles of whisky and vodka, golf balls, sometimes golf clubs, and mobile phones. Mobile phones in particular are a real issue for us".

Image caption Love letters, cigarettes and extra underwear were amongst the banned items mourners requested to place with their loved ones

Ms Ball said: "Usually the funeral director will pick them up but sometimes things are slid inside peoples' pockets and they are just not picked up during the process, then when they go through the cremation process a hell of an explosion can sometimes occur".

She added that electrical items with batteries also push crematorium emissions up to "unacceptable levels".

Louise Walch-Grognet, of Fred Hamer Funeral Services, said they check the coffins to make sure contraband items are not slipped in.

"They've asked can they put love letters in, cigarettes, ashes of their pets," she said.

"I've had a biker whose family wanted him to wear his leathers. Obviously we couldn't do that".

The funeral director said on one occasion she was even asked if an extra set of underwear could be placed with the deceased.

Ms Walch-Grognet said it was her procedure to "look under the lining of the coffin" after the service due to mourners trying to sneak items in.

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