A CREMATORIUM at the centre of a baby ashes scandal has been removed from a Doors Open Day event after complaints from families.
Members of the public had been invited to visit Hazlehead Crematorium in Aberdeen as part of a national event granting access to buildings not normally open to the public.
But, following an outcry, the controversial crematorium has now been dropped from the list of properties taking part.
The decision has been welcomed by the heartbroken parents of babies whose ashes were lost.
Nicola Merchant did not receive any ashes after her son Liam was cremated at Hazlehead shortly after he was born in 2002.
“They are just a disgrace,” he said. “They do not realise how much hurt they have caused. It’s awful.”
A major investigation published a damning account into practices at the facility and revealed babies were cremated alongside unrelated adults.
The ashes were then mixed together and given back to relatives of the deceased adult, while the parents of infants were told there were no remains to be had.
Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini issued the 400-page National Cremation Investigation, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government.
The report concluded: “The evidence discloses unethical and abhorrent practices at Aberdeen Crematorium over many years, including the cremation of foetuses and babies along with unrelated and unknown adults.”
It added: “The parents of many of the families involved in this investigation have been failed by both crematoria and funeral care organisations over many decades.”
The damning report looked at 14 crematoria and more than 200 cases across Scotland.
In relation to Hazlehead it concluded there was no overall strategic management of the crematorium by Aberdeen City Council, and that the focus among officials was on budget rather than policy.
Aberdeen City Council chief executive Angela Scott has apologised to parents.
An Aberdeen City Council spokesman confirmed Hazlehead would not be part of the annual Doors Open Day event on Saturday.
He said: “Due to the timing of the event, and as a mark of respect to families affected by historical practices at Hazlehead Crematorium, we have taken the decision to remove the crematorium from this year’s Doors Open Day schedule.”
The first baby ashes scandal emerged at Mortonhall Crematorium in 2013.