Is it possible to be too obese to be cremated?
In Austria, an extra large corpse contained so much body fat that it reportedly set a crematorium on fire.
Perhaps giving a new definition to the term “hottie,” the Daily Mail of London reports that the cadaver of a 400+-pound woman who was in the process of being cremated proved too much for the oven to handle and caused it to overheat.
Temperatures were said to have reached as a high 600 degrees Fahrenheit with thick black smoke when Graz, Austria, firefighters reached the scene to contain the blaze:
Firemen whose clothing was left covered with a layer of greasy black soot were snapped as they tackled the difficult to extinguish blaze in special breathing gear to avoid breathing in the fumes. In the end they had to bring the fire under control by sending a blast of water in through the vents used to clear the filter. Repair work took several days during which time the crematorium was out of action.
Officials in Austria and in other European countries apparently have a cremation weight limit for dead bodies under consideration to avoid the possibility of similar fires:
Graz-based fireman Otto Widetschek said: “Crematorium officials need to be more responsible and not just automatically put everybody in to be cremated.”
This incident suggests that the obesity epidemic is not just a health risk for the living–it is even causing problems for funeral homes and other end-of-life venues.
Do you think there should a weight limit for those who opt to be cremated rather than buried?