Now members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) have accused the MTA of storing dead bodies within employee break rooms until emergency responders arrive to the scene.
One employee spoke to The New York Post about what she has encountered:
LaShawn Jones, 52, who has been a station agent for 18 years, said she was coming into work at the 103rd Street 1 train station about five years ago — and made a quick stop in the employee bathroom when she saw some NYPD Emergency Service Unit officers handling a body inside.
“They weren’t aware that I was coming in and I wasn’t aware that they were in there,” Jones told The Post. “All I remember seeing was a black bag with purplish stuff.”
Jones returned to the bathroom on her lunch break — and though the body was gone, she saw some remains in the sink, she said.
“I had no idea what ESU does in the sink, but when it was time to wash my hands, there was hair and scalp and basically body parts in the sink,” she said. “That was very disturbing.”
She said she immediately went to her booth and called her supervisor. The mess was eventually cleaned up, “but the fact I had to experience that was disgusting,” she said.
“That can totally mess with your psyche, not just for that day but for the future as well,” Jones added. “I couldn’t go home. I was hysterical and I was crying, but by the time the supervisor got there, I calmed myself down.”
MTA officials explained that NYPD come to the scene as soon as possible, but the medical examiner can take over an hour to arrive. MTA spokesman confirmed that “yeah, sometimes these things happen,” but the officials store the bodies in a “non-public space.”
TWU took issue with that, too:
“The police are forced [to] store the bodies in utility rooms and other subway rooms while waiting for Medical Examiner’s Office staff to arrive. It’s unacceptable that transit workers have to endure this on the job,” a TWU Local 100 spokesperson said in a statement. “Mayor de Blasio and his administration have failed to provide enough staffing for the Medical Examiner’s Office to quickly retrieve and remove bodies from the subway after these tragedies.”
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