Found in University Basement: 250 Corpses

Department director resigns over gross debacle

By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff

Posted May 22, 2014 12:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – It seems journalists with Spain's El Mundo have stumbled onto Frankenstein’s laboratory. "This is not Auschwitz in 1942. Neither Srebrenica ... nor Rwanda," as El Mundo puts it. No, it’s the basement of the Anatomy and Embryology Department at Madrid's Complutense University, where the body parts of an estimated 250 corpses—donated to science—were haphazardly stacked and stored after being used in class experiments. Department Director Ramón Mérida said some of the bodies have been there for up to five years, and insisted they're not a health hazard as "infected" bodies are "immediately incinerated." Even so, the AP reports that Mérida has since agreed to resign.

Like a house of horrors, "mummified" corpses line shelves in the roughly 300-square-foot basement, which was kept at room temperature, reports The Local; El Mundo also describes unlabeled "black feet" on top of a garbage can. The reason behind this gross oversight is surprisingly bland—the man who spent his career incinerating the donated bodies took an early retirement in December—but there is also this ghastly detail: The incinerating oven reportedly emits poisonous gases, which is why the aforementioned staff member has not yet been replaced. But he'll supposedly come out of retirement to help deal with the corpses; a funeral home will also remove some of the bodies. An investigation has been launched by the university.

  (Shutterstock)
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