THE burial of a man from Tranent was disrupted for two hours after his grieving family arrived at the town's cemetery to find that council staff had dug the wrong lair.

The Courier understands that the funeral party arrived at Tranent Cemetery at about 11.30am last Wednesday, only to be told about the mix-up by apologetic grounds staff.

The party then left and returned about two hours later when the deceased, believed to be in his early 60s, was finally laid to rest.

A source said: "It was a big shock and very upsetting for the man's family.

"No one should have to go through something like that while they're trying to bury a loved one with respect." It's believed that the blunder occurred after incorrect information was supplied to grounds staff at the cemetery, who were responsible for digging the grave.

A spokeswoman for The Co-operative Funeralcare said: "We submitted the title deeds for our client's pre-purchased lair to East Lothian Council. It would appear that there was a communication error at the council and the next new grave in line was opened instead. "We pride ourselves on our exceptionally high professional standards so are also disappointed that this error caused upset and disruption to our clients at this distressing time." An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: "An incorrect lair had been prepared for the burial service and the error was recognised on the day of the funeral. The council took immediate steps to prepare the correct lair and burial was able to take place.

"We are extremely grateful to the family for the patience they've shown during this unfortunate incident and are in private communication with them to resolve the matter to their complete satisfaction. "We would like to reassure other families and lair holders that no other used lair space was disturbed as a result." The council refused to confirm whether financial compensation had been offered to the man's family, who declined to comment on the mix-up.