Pathologists were moments away from performing a post-mortem examination on the wrong body following a mix-up at a Dundee funeral parlour.
The error was only spotted as doctors at Dundee’s police mortuary prepared to examine the corpse.
The body had been transported by city undertakers James Ashton and Son, which has a contract with police to handle bodies where a cause of death has still to be established.
However, the wrong man’s body was delivered to the authorities before a funeral director noticed the error in time.
The family of the deceased man have been notified of the incident.
A source told the Tele: “This is shocking and an absolute disgrace that it happened.
“It’s just complacency and laziness.
“Thank goodness it was spotted in time.”
Grant Speedie, spokesman for James Ashton and Son, issued a statement to the Tele saying: “Despite clear identification of the deceased, a genuine human error regretfully occurred relating to the transportation to the police mortuary.
“Internal company procedures identified the error and the staff at the police mortuary were notified before they themselves became aware of the situation.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed the incident and said: “Police Scotland is aware of the error made by a funeral director in relation to the movement of a deceased person.
“The matter was identified and swiftly rectified by the funeral director.
“It should be noted that there are strict identification processes in place prior to any examination.
“The family of the deceased have been advised.”