Mourners scatter after body ‘breathes’ at T&T Funeral
Mourners fled in terror when a relative, viewing the body of Radhay Kissoon screamed that he was ‘breathing’ in his coffin during the funeral in Carapichaima Trinidad. Relatives also insisted that Kissoon had a pulse.
Those who chose to remain at the funeral watched in amazement as anxious relatives frantically called the EHS hoping paramedics would declare Kissoon miraculously alive so their mourning could change to joy. But no ambulance came because of the extensive flooding.
The stepson of Kissoon, identified as Nazir Ali, took a decision to have the hearse driver take the body to Mon Plaisir Road in Cunupia where other mourners awaited. Newsday was told an argument broke out as to why Kissoon was not taken to the Chaguanas Health Centre for a medical check to verify if he was somehow still alive. The driver of the hearse, bewildered over this unprecedented situation, alerted Freeport police and officers led by PC Chris Khatri agreed to meet relatives in Enterprise and the body was escorted to the Chaguanas Health Center.
When the hearse arrived at the health centre, District Medical Officer Dr Indarjit Birja was summoned to view the body. People seeking medical attention watched in disbelief as Dr Birja went to the coffin and checked Kissoon’s body for a pulse. When none was found, he told relatives that Kissoon was dead and issued a death certificate shortly after 12.45 pm.
The driver of the hearse was instructed to return to Mon Plaisir Road in Cunupia for the funeral. Kissoon died of a massive heart attack three days ago at the Couva Health Centre. Officials at Dass Funeral Home believe family members were up to mischief by creating a scare that the dead man was breathing in his coffin.
Undertakers at the funeral home in Chaguanas told Newsday that never in all their years of preparing the dead for cremation or burial, have they had such a scenario take place. The commotion all began yesterday when at about mid-morning, the funeral home prepared the body for burial at the Munroe Road Cemetery according to Hindu rites. Dass Funeral home confirmed their hearse transported the body to the house of mourning at Carapichaima Village near Freeport for the funeral.
Mere minutes into the service, a female relative shouted, “Grandpa breathing!” The Dass Funeral Home official said people began to scream. Some ran out of the house. One shouted, “Call the ambulance! He is alive! Allyuh call the ambulance!” Kissoon was kept at the funeral home in a freezer for the past three days.
There was a lull in the funeral service while the body was taken to the health centre. Two hours after Kissoon was seen ‘breathing’, he was brought back to the house and the funeral resumed.
At the Munroe Road cemetery, scores of mourners gathered on the roadside, many whispering about what had transpired at the family’s home. A woman was overheard saying, “I don’t believe there was any breathing, he dead for days. It’s just mischief by certain family members.”
Another mourner told Newsday she believed the drama was stage managed due to a dispute involving two women who were closely associated to Kissoon. On hearing this, another mourner commented, “maybe he breathed a sigh of relief.” Kissoon was laid to rest at 4 pm. (Newsday)