According to MTA employees, dead bodies of victims killed by NYC subway trains are often stored in employee break rooms, utility closets, and bathrooms. They also claim that the aftermath of those incidents is not attended to in a timely fashion. LaShawn Jones, who works for the MTA as a station agent, said she has first-hand knowledge of this after witnessing something disturbing in a bathroom designated for use by subway employees.
According to the New York Post, people killed by subway trains are often stored in rooms used by subway employees. The “leaking” corpses of people killed by subway trains are cleared off the tracks immediately and often stored in the subway employees lunch rooms or break areas inside the subway stations. This is frequently done to get the trains back up and running across those tracks as soon as possible.
This was a claim made by officials from the subway workers union this week. The body ends up being stored in the nearest room, and it is often a place that the subway employees eat their lunch or take their breaks, according to the union representative.
Bodies of people who happen to die in the subway from various reasons have been stored in utility closets, break rooms, and restrooms for a few hours at a time. The TWU Local 100 Union blames the medical examiners’ office for corpses being stored in these employee rooms for up to two hours before they get there and attend to the bodies.
The practice of storing dead bodies in rooms used by employees has been confirmed by an MTA spokesperson. They report that this has been a long-standing practice for lack of a better solution, according to PIX 11 News. The reason this is done is explained by the MTA spokesperson. They said, that when someone dies in the subway, it is “of the utmost importance” that the body is removed as quickly as possible. It is the police and the NYC Medical Examiner who handle the removal.
Since it is the police and the medical examiner who handle the removal of the body from the subway premises, often the body is moved to the closest location that is shut off to the public until they can get there. That location can be any of the rooms used by employees of the MTA. There aren’t many options for storing a body in the subway out of the public’s sight. Although rather disturbing, this is a better plan than leaving the body exposed to the public.
LaShawn Jones, who is an MTA station agent, knows just how disturbing this can be after she walked into a bathroom and happened upon the aftermath of a suicide. While members of the EMS were in that bathroom with the body, there wasn’t anything indicating that the restroom was occupied or out of order to keep employees from coming in and out. It was a grisly scene, with Jones describing it as “Very disturbing.” She said what she happened upon was not only “disgusting, but it “was just horrible, just horrible.”
This was a scene that Jones and her co-workers should not have stumbled upon. Another disturbing aspect of this incident was the bloody mess left behind once the body was removed. The bloody aftermath of this event was evident in the bathroom sink, and that was the scene that greeted employees who needed to use the restroom after the body had been removed.
Jones said the lack of cleanup after that suicide was just as disturbing. When she went to use the restroom later in the day, the bloody mess remained.
A spokesperson for the city said the officials addressed this problem.
“This Administration has invested $11M to increase staffing at the medical examiner’s office, which has allowed for examiners to arrive at emergency scenes faster than ever before. The medical examiner and NYPD are committed to reducing our response times even further to ensure both the humane treatment of the deceased and the health of subway workers and straphangers.”
According to PIX 11, that money was earmarked for 127 new positions when it was approved back in 2014.
Derick Echevarria, who is the vice president of TWU Local 100, said they need people trained so they can handle the deceased bodies. He said that the subway employees aren’t forensic specialists and dealing with bodies is not part of their job. Training cleaners and paying them more to clean the scenes is also needed.
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