TRANSIT WORKERS FACE BREAK ROOMS AS TEMPORARY MORGUES WITH NO WARNING
So if you thought that the MTA of New York City was dysfunctional before, this won’t disabuse you of your opinion. The Transport Workers Union has been making that claim that the MTA has been using break rooms to store dead bodies of accident victims that were cleaned up off of the tracks, usually in disturbing condition.
BODIES LEFT UNSECURED, OFTEN IN PIECES TO BE FOUND BY UNSUSPECTING STAFF AT LUNCH
To add insult to injury, these corpses are left out and unsecured to be found by staff who have no warning beforehand, usually just seeking a spot to have lunch, not to be confronted by random horror. At any time a worker could stumble upon a body, or at least pieces of a body.
Here are the quoted claims from the Transit Union official:
“You have pieces, you have blood spatter,” said Derek Echevarria, the vice president of TWU Local 100. “It could be any contamination or disease.”
“These are bathrooms, facility rooms, break rooms — anybody can just walk in without notice,” Echevarria said. “And that is another part of ending the service, because they’re usually sent home by what they’ve seen, what they’ve touched.”
WORKERS FEAR DISEASE, CONTAMINATION FROM RANDOM CORPSES
The MTA’s response to the TWU’s claims was that police respond to incidents on the tracks immediately and bodies are placed in “non-public spaces” and not break rooms, which still sounds a lot like any sort of off-platform room they can find, if you ask me. The bodies supposedly hang out for an hour before the medical examiner arrives.
I’ve never really considered what happens after the scene is cleaned up on the tracks; I kind of hoped they went straight to a hospital or examiner. But to hear workers claim they have to be exposed to traumatic visuals of dead bodies with no prior warning is incredibly alarming and horrific if true. There has got to be a better way to handle that.
The MTA was contacted for clarification on what is considered a “non-public space.”
MTA TAKES HUMANE APPROACH FOR THE DEAD, BUT NOT SO MUCH FOR LIVING STAFF
Update: The MTA has replied with an official statement:
“It’s of the utmost importance that anyone who dies in the subway is removed from tracks and public spaces like platforms as quickly as possible, to restore service quickly and to give humane treatment to the deceased and their family. The placement and removal of bodies are handled by NYPD and the NYC Medical Examiner, and we’re discussing with TWU officials how any of the current practices can be enhanced for the comfort of our workers.”
NYC Transit officials stressed that the handling and guarding of bodies and the determination of where they are held prior to the medical examiner arriving is managed by the NYPD during the entire process.