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Oil shortage halts crematoria in Chongqing

SOME funeral parlors in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality have run out diesel oil, forcing incinerators to stop working, Chongqing Evening News reported today.

The Longxing Funeral Parlor in the city's Yubei District said it had 10 bodies waiting for cremation after its diesel stock was depleted over the weekend. A notice pasted on its gate said "business suspended due to oil shortage."

"Usually we cremate more than 10 bodies a day," Zhou Qian, the parlor's director, told the paper. "Now we had to put the 10 bodies in refrigerator and ask the families to change the funeral schedule."

Some families required Longxing to send the bodies to another parlor for cremation, while those from the countryside took the bodies away for burial in their home villages, said the paper.

Longxing contacted more than 20 gas stations in downtown Chongqing asking for diesel but had no success. "We hope the society can help us tide over the crisis and sell some oil to us," said Zhou.

Longxing is not alone. The Jiangnan Funeral Parlor said they had stocked more than 10 tons of diesel oil last week but could only last 10 days. Its management said they didn't know what would happen after that.

The Yiwanshui Funeral House, also in Yubei District, said although they used natural gas for cremation, their funeral vehicles had all stopped for lack of oil, the paper reported.


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