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Family of Brampton man demands answers after body mislabelled in Cuba

The family of a deceased Brampton man is demanding answers after it took weeks for the casket containing his body to arrive at a local funeral home from Cuba.

Zoran Tomic died suddenly while on vacation with his wife in Cuba last month. He was 65. His body was supposed to be immediately transported back home for the funeral but an apparent issue with how the casket was handled in Cuba had his family waiting 18 days for its return.

“It’s almost like nobody knew where he was,” David Tomic, his son, told CityNews. “We lost him initially, and then [people handling the body in Cuba] lost him.”

The family says it was told three separate times that his casket was on a flight. Then, on Saturday night, they were informed by their Brampton funeral home that the casket had arrived in Canada. They were also told that it was mislabelled “general cargo” while in Cuba.

In an to email to CityNews, Air Canada Monday, it says it only received the casket on Jan. 30, and that while it was unable to ship the body home the next day “due to operational constraints” it was on a flight home on Feb. 1.

“We keep the funeral home informed as part of our standard procedure, but in this case there was an internal miscommunication that we are now investigating. We apologize for any distress this situation may have caused,” Air Canada said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs tells CityNews that it is also looking into the situation.

The above story was edited from an earlier version to include the fact that Air Canada says it only received the casket on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.