Armed men hijack 2 hearses in South Africa

A funeral hearse.</p>

A funeral hearse.

The unusual hijacking took place at a traffic light in the city of Mthatha in Eastern Cape province on Tuesday night, police spokesman Mzukisi Fatyela told SAPA news agency.

A pair of armed men hijacked the first hearse and drove off in it, only to become stuck in mud in a nearby village.

They then abandoned the vehicle and headed directly for the funeral parlour.

There they overpowered a guard and made off with another hearse, loaded with specialist equipment including casket-lowering devices.

Fatyela said the hijackers must have known what they were looking for:

"We strongly believe that someone operating a funeral parlour is behind this hijacking, it is unusual to hijack a hearse."

The investigation continues.