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NYC Transit Workers Describe 'Leaking' Corpses on the Job

MTA union reps: Bodies from train accidents are stored in worker break areas, bathrooms
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2017 7:11 AM CDT
NYC Transit Workers Describe 'Leaking' Corpses on the Job
A transit worker checks for pedestrians before closing the door on a train at a subway station in Queens, NY, on Jan. 23, 2016.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Ever wonder where the bodies of people hit by subway trains are brought to immediately after an accident? "Whatever room happens to be nearest" in New York City's subways, even if that room is an employee lunchroom, bathroom, or other break area, a transit union source tells the New York Post. MTA workers describe encountering gruesome scenes, including "leaking" corpses and hair, scalp pieces, and other "parts" left in bathroom sinks. Some workers say this has gone on for years, with union officials noting it can take up to two hours for a body to be handed off to the medical examiner's office. It's then up to station cleaning staff to clean up, a Transport Workers Union Local 100 station rep tells the New York Daily News. The MTA says workers are trained to handle "infectious waste," adding that cops are supposed to be stationed so MTA workers don't see remains.

"People eat there, people drink water there, store their clothes there," the TWU rep tells the Daily News. "No body should be placed in these rooms." "It's unacceptable that transit workers have to endure this on the job," a TWU statement notes, per the Post, blaming Mayor Bill de Blasio for not providing adequate medical examiner staff to deal quickly with such situations, per the Post. A City Hall statement notes both cops and the medical examiner's office want to cut down on response times for "both the humane treatment of the deceased and the health of subway workers and straphangers." Meanwhile, the MTA issued its own statement saying rapid removal of bodies from public areas is of "utmost importance" and that it will be conversing with TWU officials to see how it can better provide for MTA workers' "comfort." (This probably doesn't make NYC's "summer of hell" any better.)

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