BROOKLYN, New York — A funeral home in Brooklyn was so overwhelmed with people killed by the novel coronavirus that the funeral home resorted to stacking the bodies in unrefrigerated moving vans. CA News Ottawa reported the bodies of the deceased were slated to be cremated by the funeral home ran out of room. The trucks were not refrigerated; a police officer reported that the bodies were on ice. The corpses, all victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, died as New York City experienced the long-awaited “surge” of coronavirus cases. NYC health officials appropriated city trucks designed to hold the dead. Officials also said that funeral homes have an obligation to maintain the deceased with dignity until the final disposition of the remains.
The New York Post reported that NYPD officers responded to the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services located in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn to investigate reports of human bodies found inside of two cars a short distance from the funeral home. NYPD quickly determined that the vehicles were registered to the funeral home. Neighbors also complained to the police about the smell of a foul odor coming from the funeral home.
The police investigated the situation found between 40 and 60 dead bodies in moving trucks outside of the funeral home. Additionally, the Post reported that some bodies were left to decay on the floor of the funeral home, citing police sources.
The Mayor of New York City expressed dismay over the situation. He described the manner in which the funeral home handled their dead as “unconscionable.” The Mayor further stated that while he understands the funeral home was completely overwhelmed, the city has resources to handle emergencies. The funeral home should have called NYPD, the Mayor said, because the situation was an emergency.
Health officials removed the deceased from their temporary resting place to a location more dignified and befitting of civilized society until disposition of the remains.
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