Thu, 25 Aug 1994

Cadaver chaos rocks airport

JAKARTA (JP): Havoc reigned at the Adisumarmo airport in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java, on Monday when security officers discovered two corpses inside a box intended as a cargo bound for Banjar Baru in South Kalimantan.

The airport authorities had delayed sending the box, labeled as "material for medical practice" because it smelled "very strongly of coffee", according to the Kompas daily newspaper yesterday.

When they opened the box, they found two corpses, one of a male and the other a female, both shaven bold.

The Solo police immediately launched an investigation, tracing the sender to his address in Yogyakarta.

They discovered that the corpses were intended for medical use as cadavers. They had been ordered by the Lambung Mangkurat University in Banjar Baru from the Sebelas Maret University in Solo, where the sender is a staff lecturer.

The sender had soaked the corpses in coffee to reduce the stench and preserve them.

University sources said it is a common practice for one institution to request cadavers from another which has a surplus.

The police, however, were not impressed. They insisted that next time, such a cargo should be more specifically marked and accompanied by documents issued by the universities. (emb)