- Freezer trucks were used as makeshift morgues in New York City during the height of the pandemic.
- 750 bodies are still being stored in those trucks, more than a year later, the City reported.
- The bodies could end up being buried on Hart Island.
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The bodies of as many as 750 COVID-19 victims are still being stored in refrigerated trucks in New York City, a year after the height of the pandemic in April 2020, the City reported.
The bodies are stored in a long-term temporary morgue at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.
CNN reported that at the height of the pandemic last year, over 800 deaths were recorded in a single day, with an average of more than 500 a day the week of April 5.
The surge in COVID-19 deaths led to the use of freezer trucks as makeshift morgues outside of hospitals.
“Long-term storage was created at the height of the pandemic to ensure that families could lay their loved ones to rest as they see fit,” Mark Desire, a spokesperson for the medical examiner’s office, told the Associated Press. “With sensitivity and compassion, we continue to work with individual families on a case-by-case basis during their period of mourning.”
Dina Maniotis, executive deputy commissioner with the medical examiner’s office, said most of the bodies could end up on Hart Island, where for the past 100 years the city has buried those who were poor or unclaimed.
Maniotis said most families of the victims remaining in the trucks have said they want their loved one buried on Hart Island.
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