The New York subway system may seem like a nightmarish hellscape for straphangers forced to deal with derailments, delays, and plagues of dead crabs during their daily commutes, but apparently things are even worse for the subway employees behind the scenes.
According to a NYC subway workers union, the MTA has gotten into the habit of temporarily storing the corpses and dismembered body parts of people killed in subway accidents inside employee break rooms until emergency responders arrive, NY1 reports.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 claims that the dead bodies pulled up off the tracks are stashed away in "bathrooms, facility rooms, [and] break rooms" until the medical examiner responds, according to TWU vice president Derek Echevarria. These rooms are reportedly often left unlocked, so anybody trying to slip away for a quick break could accidentally stumble across a severed foot or corpse.
Besides being traumatizing, disrespectful, and generally just super gross, TWU says the whole hiding a corpse in a bathroom thing is pretty unsanitary, too.
"You have pieces, you have blood spatter," Echevarria said in the statement. "It could be any contamination or disease."
MTA spokesman Shams Tarek responded to the complaint, confirming that, yeah, sometimes these things happen, but the bodies are put in a "non-public space" until the NYPD can arrive on the scene, which happens nearly "instantly." The TWU disagrees, though, arguing that it can take upward of a few hours before the corpses are cleared.
"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," TWU said. "It's unacceptable that transit workers have to endure this on the job."