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Bodies pile up at forensic centre
Understaffed and overworked, the Forensic Science Centre was hard-pressed to autopsy more than 30 cadavers for the day yesterday, leading to a backlog of bodies. From 6 am, the centre received a large number of bodies from funeral homes for resident pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov and his two attendants to perform autopsies on.
Up to 5 pm, an hour after the official closing time of the centre, there were still relatives awaiting confirmation whether their loved ones had been autopsied. Too distraught to give information on the cause of death of their family members, several relatives said many of them were from the South and made the journey to the centre in St James from as early as 5 am.
They said one pathologist could not handle that number of bodies on his own and the situation was compounded by bodies having been piling up since Carnival Friday. Waiting hearse drivers and funeral home attendants confirmed there had been an increase in bodies over the Carnival period.
The relatives made an impassioned plea to the authorities to build another forensic centre in south Trinidad to ease the burden as they lamented the lack of space to hold the influx of bodies at the only forensic centre in the country. They said many of the funeral homes’ hearses parked outside the Forensic Centre still contained bodies awaiting their turn to be offloaded and examined since the morning, and they were not equipped with refrigeration units.
Forensic Science Centre staff told several of the funeral homes from South that they could not accommodate any more bodies and they would have to return today.
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