Distressing drone footage has appeared which showed New York City prisoners digging graves on NTC’s Hart Island. According to the reports of Daily Mail, the bodies of coronavirus victims are being temporarily buried there, as morgues across the city continue to overflow after the surge in a number of cases for coronavirus in the city.
In the video, a group of ordinarily prisoners in their uniforms can be seen wearing protective gear as they lower coffins into the ground. Reportedly, Hart Island is used to bury the unclaimed body for more than 150 years. It is believed to be the largest mass graveyard in the US as over one millions of bodies have been buried here. In New York state, over 6,000 people have died due to the coronavirus.
Earlier on Tuesday, the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner announced that unclaimed bodies will not be held in refrigerated city storage for 30 days, as it was the previous policy. Now, they have decided to hold unclaimed bodies for less than a week before burying them to the mass grave on Hart Island or City Cemetary.
‘As we aim to accommodate the many New Yorkers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner will provide temporary storage of a decedent for up to six days,’ the office said in the announcement.
Moreover, the drone footage was shot and produced by the Hart Island Project, directed by Melinda Hunt, who said 23 bodies were buried on the day the footage was recorded.
Director Hunt told The New York Post that she is unsure whether the prisoners were burying coronavirus victims, but she said there have been more burials during the outbreak which have seemed more organized.
On the other hand, officials claimed that there are no coronavirus victims’ bodies buried on the island yet, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that the city may resort to using the City Cemetary as the city’s death toll surges.
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