Forensics overloaded after week of mayhem

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The carpark of the Forsensic Science Centre, St James was overflowing with vehicles, some forced to park on the road and side walk on Wednesday. – Vishanna Phagoo

THE unheeded warnings of workers at the Forensic Science Centre (FSC) is now a reality with the FSC now at capacity and bodies having to be stacked on each other.

The deadly Easter weekend which saw 12 murders in four days, contributed significantly to the FSC bursting at its seams. Sources within the Forensic Science Centre said eight bodies were brought to the centre on Wednesday when there was only room for three.

Between Thursday and Tuesday night, there were 15 murders, a fatal accident, three bodies found in a cargo ship and other unnatural deaths, which includes two suicides.

“The problem is that there are a lot of unclaimed bodies” one source said.

The carpark of the FSC was overflowing with vehicles, some forced to park on the road and side walk when Newsday visited.

So packed was the Forensic Science Centre that hearses had to line up to drop off the bodies they were carrying, some having to wait hours.

Despite the jam-packed centre, eight autopsies were done but that only created room for the eight bodies that were brought.

Among the bodies at FSC are 15 bodies found in a boat off Belle Garden, Tobago in July last year.

In August last year a senior official at FSC warned that if those bodies were not removed there would be space issues. On Wednesday another official said the fears materialised as there is currently no more room for any more bodies unless they are stacked on each other. The source added that officials may have to turn away funeral agencies bringing the bodies until the FSC is cleared.

Asked about the running out of space last year, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said: “I do not foresee any challenges.”

He added then that the Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in talks with the Mauritanian government to repatriate the bodies of the men.

In February Hinds said the construction of a new Forensic Science Centre in Mt Hope, will be seven times larger than the existing centre.

At a media briefing at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in February, Hinds said: “The cabinet already approved the lands for that the conceptual drawings already done and as late as yesterday I know there were high level meetings with those responsible for delivering this important project.”