Devastating truth behind photos of what look like white shipping containers

Ash Cant
·3-min read

Hundred of corpses of those who died in the first wave of New York City’s Covid peak remain in freezer trucks.

Startling images of the makeshift container morgues were taken in Brooklyn, New York, on November 24, months after the first wave and when they were first set up in April.

New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed to the New York Post there are about 650 bodies currently being stored in the trucks.

An aerial photo of freezer trucks set up as container morgues in New York City. Source: Getty Images
Hundreds of bodies are still stored in freezer trucks set up as container morgues during New York City's first coronavirus wave. Source: Getty Images

The bodies were of those whose families could not be located or afford a burial.

Officials told the Wall Street Journal the office was struggling to track down the relatives of more than 200 people in the containers.

The trucks overlook the city’s skyline at a warehouse owned by the city, The Post reported in an article written in July, at the height of the city’s first wave when nearly 2000 bodies were stored there.

New York City was the first US epicentre of the virus in March and April, and New York remains the state with the highest overall number of deaths since the pandemic began - over 33,000.

It is believed over 600 people remain in the storage trucks in Brooklyn, New York, after dying in the first coronavirus wave. Source: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
It is believed over 600 people remain in the storage trucks in Brooklyn, New York, after dying in the first coronavirus wave. Source: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In March, photos surfaced of forklifts are being used to load dead bodies into the back of refrigerated trucks parked in the street.

Hospitals and permanent morgues quickly became overwhelmed by the surge in deaths as the virus spread rampantly through the city.

By late April, it was confirmed more than 18,000 people in the city had died from Covid-19, and the city struggled to deal with the surge, one funeral home rented trucks to store the dead.

Andrew T Cleckley Funeral Services rented U-Haul trucks to store more than 50 bodies on ice back in April.

ABC 7 reported the funeral home owner indicated to officials his freezer had stopped working.

US Covid deaths climb, NY anticipates second wave

Now, on the brink of a second wave, New York’s governor said he is reopening an emergency COVID-19 field hospital on Staten Island.

The temporary hospital on the grounds of the South Beach Psychiatric Hospital cared for 200 patients in spring, when New York City’s hospital wards were overwhelmed with seriously ill and dying coronavirus patients.

Governor Cuomo said officials are concerned it might be needed again, as the virus has spread in the borough at a faster rate than in the rest of the city, The Associated Press reported.

Visitors to Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn sit on the boardwalk with the Empire State Building in the background during the coronavirus pandemic on November 23, 2020 in New York City.
New York still has more Covid deaths than any other US state. Source: Getty Images

Staten Island has averaged 209 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the past seven days — up 86 per cent from two weeks ago.

According to Johns Hopkins data, there have been over 12 million confirmed infections in the US and more than 250,000 deaths.

The seven-day rolling average number of US COVID-19 deaths climbed for a 12th straight day, reaching 1500 as of Monday.

According to a Reuters tally of official data, coronavirus hospitalisations nationally have surged nearly 50 per cent in the past two weeks.

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