Shocking photos show bodies stacked in the back of a pickup truck in Philadelphia and left for the medical examiner to collect
- Horrific photos show wrapped bodies stuffed in the back of a pickup truck and brought to Philadelphia’s Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday
- The Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that five or six bodies came from a local hospital in ‘an unapproved manner’ over the weekend
- Two of the bodies had tags that indicated they were from the Albert Einstein Medical Center in the city
- The hospital says it will review its pandemic protocols with its transportation contractor who delivers bodies to morgues and the medical examiner’s office
- The bodies were transferred there to be stored in refrigerated trailers designed to ease hospital and funeral home overflow
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
A Pennsylvania hospital transported corpses in the open cargo bed of a pickup truck in broad daylight, shedding light on the grim reality hitting hospitals and morgues where there’s limited space to store the rising number of dead due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Horrific photos show a Ford pickup truck stuffed with several wrapped bodies stacked on top of each other outside of the Joseph W. Spellman Medical Examiner’s Office in Philadelphia on Sunday.
The Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that five or six bodies came from a local hospital in ‘an unapproved manner’.
The bodies were brought to the center to be stored in refrigerated trailers meant to ease the overcrowding at hospitals and funeral homes around the city.
Shocking photos show bodies of corpses stacked in the back of a pickup truck and delivered to the Joseph W. Spellman Medical Examiner Building on Sunday afternoon. Workers pictured assisting the driver of the truck unload bodies in the truck onto a gurney
The Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that five or six bodies came from a local hospital in ‘an unapproved manner’. The bodies were brought to the center to be stored in refrigerated trailers meant to ease the overcrowding at hospitals and funeral homes around the city. The driver of the pickup truck pictured standing on the bodies on Sunday
When the pickup truck first arrived to the center the bodies in the cargo bed were covered in mats. They were then unloaded into refrigerated trailers on site
Pennsylvania has over 34,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 1,300 deaths. A majority of those are in Philadelphia where there are over 9,500 cases of the virus and there have been 370 deaths so far.
While it’s not clear why the bodies were transported in such a manner, it paints a macabre picture of the COVID-19 crisis where hospitals are reeling from a lack of medical supplies, morgues are overwhelmed, and the number of dead continue to mount.
A medical examiner employee was reportedly unnerved by the shocking delivery on Sunday around 3.30pm. He then helped pull the bodies out of the truck, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Workers offloaded the bodies one at a time onto gurneys and wheeled them into three refrigerated trailers at the site.
Officials have declined to identify the hospital those bodies came from but two of those body bags were reportedly labelled ‘Albert Einstein Medical’ and ‘Einstein Med Center’, referring to the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.
The Einstein Healthcare Network, which operates the Einstein Medical Center, said Monday it will go over pandemic protocols from its transportation contractor which transports bodies to funeral homes and to the Medical Examiner’s Office
James Garrow, a spokesman for Philadelphia’s public health department, said that the delivery was an isolated incident and was not up to standard transportation protocols.
‘The Medical Examiner’s Office regularly works with hospitals throughout Philadelphia to ensure that bodies are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Part of that relationship is well-established and long-standing transportation protocols,’ he said in a statement, according to Trib Live.
‘On Sunday, these protocols were not followed during what was expected to be a routine transfer of bodies for storage. The Health Department is appalled that this happened, and strongly reminded the referring hospital of the existing protocols. This is not normal or acceptable.’
He did not know if any of those bodies were victims of COVID-19.
The Einstein Healthcare Network, which operates the Einstein Medical Center, said Monday it was demanding an update on pandemic protocols from its transportation contractor.
Einstein, along with other hospitals in the region, contracts with a funeral home to transfer bodies to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
However, the network acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis has presented ‘unprecedented challenges’ for hospitals – meaning a shortage of medical supplies and staggering influx of bodies heading to morgues and for autopsies.
‘We deeply apologize and are making every effort to ensure we continue to provide the respectful, compassionate care that we are known for,’ the network said to the Inquirer.