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Officials apologize for cremation

Jan. 14, 2013 at 1:03 PM

ZHENXIONG, China, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Local authorities in China's Yunnan province have issued an apology for cremating the bodies of 46 landslide victims without the approval of their families.

The local civil affairs authorities cremated the bodies without consent from their families, preventing relatives from seeing their loved ones one last time, Xinhua reported.

The landslide happened in the Zhenxiong village of Gaopo Friday, killing 46 villagers and injuring two others.

The cremation prompted protests Sunday from about 40 family members.

A spokesman with the rescue and disaster relief headquarters in Zhenxiong County said the cremations were carried out because of limited space in the county's funeral parlor and a fear the bodies could spread disease if left in the open for too long.

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