Death Customs

Egypt balloon crash bodies flown back to Hong Kong

The bodies of nine Hong Kong people killed in a hot air balloon tragedy in Egypt last month were flown back to Hong Kong on Monday. Photo: David Wong

The bodies of nine Hong Kong people who were among the 19 killed in a hot air balloon tragedy in Egypt last month were flown back to Hong Kong on Monday.

Monday, 11 March, 2013, 7:48pm

Relatives of Hong Kong balloon victims gather at crash site in Egypt

Relatives of the Hong Kong victims of the Egyptian hot-air balloon tragedy perform rituals at the crash site yesterday. Photo: Sam Tsang

They gathered in the field where the balloon crashed near the village of Hager El Dibie, west of Luxor, to perform mourning rituals. Accompanied by Hong Kong officials, the families - who had made the one-hour flight south from Cairo - lit incense and made offerings of fruit.

3 Mar 2013 - 5:14am

Coming clean on growing number of lonely deaths in South Korea

As more South Koreans are dying in solitude, the business to clean up after the deceased is experiencing rapid growth. Photo: Reuters

In a country where the unravelling of Confucian traditions means that many elderly people are no longer cared for by family, more South Koreans are dying in solitude, after either taking their own lives or wasting away from neglect. Small companies provide services such as cleaning and sterilising a room where someone died and decomposed before they were detected. They can also dispose and incinerate the deceased's possessions.

6 Feb 2013 - 5:22am

Taoist hall asks court to declare it religious, to house human ashes

A Taoist hall asked a court to declare it a religious institute, so it could serve as a repository for human ashes.

9 Dec 2012 - 3:59am

Some potential urn niche sites not yet confirmed

Dr Ko wing-man

Some of the 24 potential columbarium sites identified by the government at least 18 months ago had yet to be confirmed, the health minister admitted yesterday.

Further planning and consultation with district councils was heeded, Dr Ko Wing-man said.

11 Nov 2012 - 5:10am

Mortician Frank Malabed is Philippines' embalmer to the famous

Mortician Franck Malabed with the make-up he uses when touching up the dead. Photo: AFP

When dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a host of other famous Philippine figures met their maker, they also met Frank Malabed.

An assassinated democracy hero, a soft-porn star, high-profile socialites and political statesmen are others to have been sent to the grave by the country's most prominent and, arguably, passionate mortician.

8 Nov 2012 - 3:58am

Architects unveil plans for floating columbarium

Artist's impression of Floating Eternity berthed at the new Kai Tak cruise terminal. Photo: SCMP

A local architecture firm has come up with an ingenious way to alleviate the growing shortage of burial space - by turning a ship into a floating columbarium.

Bread Studio has developed the concept, which it calls Floating Eternity, with space for 370,000 niches.

4 Nov 2012 - 4:13am 2 comments

Town planners to impose controls on Po Toi Island developments

Niches have been developed at Po Toi Island. Photo: David Wong

The Town Planning Board upheld its decision to impose controls on any development on Po Toi Island yesterday, but now faces a legal challenge from developers who are building a memorial garden there.

Splendid Resources and Sky Pacific, which have planned 4,400 funeral urn niches in a columbarium, said the hearing process was unfair.

29 Sep 2012 - 3:11am

Computer ballot for niches at new Wo Hop Shek columbarium

A view inside the new columbarium at Wo Hop Shek. Photo: Felix Wong

The completion of a new HK$629.5 million public columbarium in Wo Hop Shek may help reduce waiting times of up to five years for a public urn niche, but the 20,800 applicants already on the waiting list will not get priority.

29 Aug 2012 - 3:14am

Activist cremated 'without consent'

Former Tiananmen dissident Li Wangyang's body was cremated yesterday, three days after his suspicious death in hospital, stoking criticism of the authorities in Shaoyang, Hunan province.

Friends of Li, 62, insisted his family had not consented to the cremation, and a legal expert said anyone who destroyed a body without consent could face imprisonment.

10 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Alex Randall

English avant-garde lighting artist Alex Randall creates striking designs that feature stuffed wild animals. Her clients include celebrities such as Hollywood film star Susan Sarandon, British chat show host Graham Norton and 'sundry rock stars' as well as hoteliers and restaurateurs in London and New York.

10 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

'Alternative' ash burials start to gain ground

Hongkongers are increasingly opting for their ashes to be scattered in a 'garden of remembrance' as opposed to costlier, traditional burial arrangements such as the use of niches, says a funeral services firm.

30 May 2012 - 12:00am

TV report on tainted clothes sparks fear

A finding of cancer-causing chemicals on children's clothes sparked public fear yesterday, after a report aired on national state broadcaster China Central Television.

28 May 2012 - 12:00am

Anger over new restrictions at crowded cemetery

A limit on the supply of spaces for burial urns at the Wo Hop Shek Cemetery could lead to more people cremating the bones of their relatives after the seven-year burial limit passes, putting pressure on hard-pressed columbariums.

26 May 2012 - 12:00am

Seeking alternatives to niches and burial plots

Transforming cremated remains into remembrance diamonds is just one of the options available to tackle the shortage of burial plots and niches in Hong Kong columbaria.

The government is promoting sea burials and offers a free boat service for anyone wishing to commit their loved-ones' ashes to the sea for what is described as 'a sombre and dignified send-off'.

6 May 2012 - 12:00am