Photos show 50 refrigerated trucks loaded with 650 unclaimed COVID-19 carcasses in Brooklyn


The haunting photographs show an aerial view of the freezer trucks, which have been transformed into makeshift morges holding unclaimed corpses of 650 COVID-19 patients parked on the side of the Brooklyn waterfront.

The disturbing images show about 50 trucks parked neatly in the parking lot of the 39th Street Pier in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn.

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency morgues were installed in the city’s crematorium facilities and private funeral homes after overflowing with carcasses, when New York City was the US virus epicenter.

Some 50 freezer trucks parked at 39th Street Pier in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn have been converted into makeshift mortges storing 650 unclaimed dead bodies of COVID-19 fatal

City officials continue to store the bodies as many of them are yet to be identified or their next of kin are yet to be contacted.

City officials continue to store the bodies as many of them are yet to be identified or their next of kin are yet to be contacted.

Makeshift morgues were built in April, when New York City was in the midst of its coronovirus battle that essentially closed the metropolitan area as cases and deaths escalated.

Makeshift morgues were built in April, when New York City was in the midst of its coronovirus battle that essentially closed the metropolitan area as cases and deaths escalated.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the city still continues to keep the dead bodies as there are 230 people among the dead, whose relatives are yet to be contacted.

A spokesperson for the city’s chief medical examiner’s office said it is not uncommon for people who have been displaced from loved ones or whose relatives have old or outdated contact information to keep their bodies.

According to city officials, in some cases, the deceased’s relatives are themselves deceased.

Those whose relatives have been contacted have not yet collected the bodies because they cannot bear the excessive cost of proper burial.

On April 1, New York City had more than 83,000 infections and just 1,941 deaths.  At the time, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed that only 20 percent of patients on ventilators were likely to ever come off the equipment

On April 1, New York City had more than 83,000 infections and just 1,941 deaths. At the time, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed that only 20 percent of patients on ventilators were likely to ever come off the equipment

Those whose relatives have been contacted have not yet collected the bodies because they cannot bear the excessive cost of proper burial.

Those whose relatives have been contacted have not yet collected the bodies because they cannot bear the excessive cost of proper burial.

The Wall Street Journal reports that burial aid in New York City was raised from $ 900 to $ 1,700 in May - $ 7,300 less than the average $ 9,000 price for a traditional service with burial

The Wall Street Journal reports that burial aid in New York City was raised from $ 900 to $ 1,700 in May – $ 7,300 less than the average $ 9,000 price for a traditional service with burial

The New York State Funeral Directors Association said the average cost of a cremation is about $ 6,500

The New York State Funeral Directors Association said the average cost of a cremation is about $ 6,500

The image above shows a medical examiner's truck being towed to the Brooklyn waterfront on Monday

The image above shows a medical examiner’s truck being towed to the Brooklyn waterfront on Monday

In New York, according to the State Burial Directors Association, the average cost of a traditional burial can be around $ 9,000, while a typical funeral costs $ 6,500.

As the epidemic claimed to be more dead, the city boosted bury assistance to residents from the usual $ 900 to $ 1,700 – still far below meeting the average cost.

Families who are unable to afford these options can ask the city to bury their loved ones for free on Hart Island, an island located off the coast of the small Bronx in Long Island Sound.

Heart Island is the city where there is a tomb site for the poor and the needy. At the time of the pre-pandemic, unclaimed dead bodies would have been placed on the island, one of the largest public cemeteries in the country.

Heart Island is operated by the city’s Department of Corrections. Its burials have traditionally been performed by inmates at nearby Rikers Island Prison.

During the first three months of the epidemic that began in March, the city reported 203,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Among them, 18,679 people died and more than 54,000 people were hospitalized.

In total, more than 24,000 New York City residents have died of COVID-19 related illness. More than 301,000 city residents tested positive for the disease.

The city’s numbers outnumber New York State figures, which have seen more than 33,800 deaths and 607,000 cases.

With the arrival of the coronavirus epidemic in March, New York City's morgue and cemetery were overwhelmed and freezer trucks installed to house additional bodies

With the arrival of the coronavirus epidemic in March, New York City’s morgue and cemetery were overwhelmed and freezer trucks installed to house additional bodies

Photographs of the drone taken on April 9 include bodies being buried on New York's Heart Island, where the Department of Corrections is working with more bodies overall amid the coronovirus epidemic

Photographs of the drone taken on April 9 include bodies being buried on New York’s Heart Island, where the Department of Corrections is working with more bodies overall amid the coronovirus epidemic

In May, as the city struggled to cope with the growing pile of bodies, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would organize mass burials and that efforts would be made to be reported next to kin.

Employees at the city’s medical examiner’s office were simply ill to deal with the once-in-a-century epidemic.

The unit employs only 15 people whose job is to identify the bodies while seven others are tasked with contacting their relatives.

In normal, pre-pandemic times, the unit could deal with 20 deaths a day. At the height of the epidemic, it was swept away with a crush of about 200 new cases per day.

Lack of manpower led to a delay of weeks and even months in informing loved ones who were harassing people, who kept asking the office for information about death certificates, viewing of bodies, and funeral arrangements.

Lee-Anne Karafa was informed of the death of her husband from whom she was separated, three months after which she was found dead in her bed.

Frank Joseph Caraffa died of heart disease on May 6 in a Manhattan apartment. His wife, who lives in Westchester County, was told only on 28 July.

COVID-19 is not mentioned in Frank’s death certificate which is an important factor in his death.

Before the epidemic, the office used to field up to 40 calls per day. At the peak of the epidemic, it was receiving 1,000 calls per day.

New York was thought to be behind the epidemic, but Governor Andrew Cuomo is now warning of severe COVID-19 case spikes during the holiday period.

New York was thought to be behind the epidemic, but Governor Andrew Cuomo is now warning of severe COVID-19 case spikes during the holiday period.

New York State has averaged about 5,500 new confirmed cases per day over the past seven days.  The most serious spikes have been reported on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and parts of The Bronx.  Western New York State has recorded an increase in cases

New York State has averaged about 5,500 new confirmed cases per day over the past seven days. The most serious spikes have been reported on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and parts of The Bronx. Western New York State has recorded an increase in cases

Cuomo warned on Monday that COVID hospitalization could double in the next three weeks, meaning new lockdown measures could be implemented

Cuomo warned on Monday that COVID hospitalization could double in the next three weeks, meaning new lockdown measures could be implemented

City officials said they are sensitive to the needs of bereaved New Yorkers who must now be guided through the delicate task of claiming the bodies of their loved ones.

“It has been painful,” Dina Maniotis, acting deputy commissioner of the chief medical examiner’s office, told The Wall Street Journal.

‘We are working together [next of kin] Slowly as much as we can and together to make our plans.

‘Many of them will decide whether they want to go to Heart Island, which is fine.’

When city officials are unable to track down next to relatives, they try to identify the body through forensic means, including fingerprints, medical or dental records or DNA data.

Officers also comb through police records or other available documents.

The city has gradually managed to reduce the load of unclaimed dead bodies. In mid-September, it had 698 corpses.

It is planned to continue using the truck freezer until it is declared epidemic-free. It may be a while.

The New York governor said Monday that he is reopening an emergency COVID-19 area hospital on Staten Island as the number of infections climbs, with the state partially experiencing an epidemic from the heat It is the first such facility to be transferred to the state.

The temporary hospital, based on South Beach Psychiatric Hospital, cared for 200 patients in the spring, when New York City hospital wards were overwhelmed by critically ill and dying coronavirus patients.

Now, Cuomo said officials are worried that it may be needed again, as the virus has spread at a faster rate than the rest of the city.

Staten Island has increased an average of 86 percent of the 209 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the past seven days.

New York State has averaged about 5,500 new confirmed cases per day over the past seven days.

Hospitals and nursing homes have reported 665 COVID-19 deaths in the state in the last 30 days – combined in July, August and September.

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