Bodies of poor pile up at Illinois morgue
An alarming number of dead bodies are stacking up at an Illinois morgue due to financial troubles, according to a report from The Chicago Sun Times.
Staff at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office are upset over receiving an over-capacity in both adult and child bodies. With a limited amount of space, Cook County decided to pile bodies on top of one another in blue plastic tarps in the storage cooler.
“There are so many bodies in there now,” one source told The Sun Times. “They can’t keep it cool enough.”
The Cook County cooler is designed to hold no more than 300 bodies but currently contains roughly 500, the vast majority being adults.
“The stench is like nothing I’ve ever seen,” another source told The Sun Times. “I think it’s sacrilegious.”
A $11 million cut to the state’s budget last summer, aimed at reducing funds set aside for the funerals of lower income people, is seen as the main cause of the morgue’s problem.
The state originally set aside $13 million, which paid for over 12,000 funerals, according to NBC Chicago. That ended with the 2011 budget, which reduced the total allocated to just $1.9 million.
Photo credit: Flickr user David Kungsholmen