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Dhaka Tribune

Several corpses found rotting on Pakistan hospital roof

Initial reports say there were as many as 500 bodies

Update : 16 Oct 2022, 07:18 PM

In a shocking turn of events, a number of corpses -- said to be used by medical students -- have been found decomposing on the roof of a hospital’s mortuary in Pakistan.

The ANI put the figure at 200, while The Express Tribune, citing a viral video, reported that only four were lying there. 

Punjab chief minister’s adviser, too, claimed that a whistleblower told him that he had discovered the putrefied corpses lying in the open on the roof, according to the Dawn newspaper.

The whistleblower, who was not identified by the daily, also claimed to have seen “25 bodies dumped in a closed room that looked like a storage area.” 

However, there were initial reports that the roof of Nishtar Hospital in Multan city under Punjab province had contained a staggering 500 bodies.

Police said currently the mortuary houses 74 bodies, including the ones in question.

The Punjab government formed a six-member committee to investigate the incident and videos and pictures were shared on the internet, Geo News reported on Friday. 

Moreover, Nishtar Medical University's (NMU) vice-chancellor has also formed a three-member committee for an inquiry into the incident. 

A letter dated October 13, 2022, was also sent to the medical superintendent of the hospital, asking for a detailed inquiry report within three days.

NMU’s Anatomy Department head Prof Dr Maryam Ashraf denied the reports of the presence of over 500 bodies.

She said that unidentified bodies handed over to the medical university by police were being used for MBBS students’ studies.

Before that, Maryam said the hospital had a mortuary where unidentified and unclaimed bodies were kept, while the bodies that started decomposing were placed in airy rooms on the roof of the mortuary. 

She claimed some of the unclaimed bodies were used for teaching medical students, strictly under the rules and regulations of the home and health departments.

Meanwhile, Multan City Police Officer (CPO) Khurrum Shehzad Haider said they received two types of bodies — those related to a crime or those that died of natural causes. 

“Police get a postmortem examination done on the bodies with injuries, while those that died of medical complications are submitted to the mortuary without a postmortem,” the CPO added.

A former principal of Nishtar Medical College, Laiq Hussain Siddiqui, believed the number of unclaimed bodies might have increased due to the floods in south Punjab and due to their large numbers, some may have been placed on the roof owing to a lack of space.

Situation at the hospital's cold room 

Sources in the hospital told Geo News that the majority of the freezers in the hospital's cold room — which had a capacity of 40 bodies — have been nonfunctional for many years, and only one of the five freezers is operational.

The sources said that now, only seven to eight bodies could be kept in the cold room as four freezers were not functioning, and given the hospital's situation, two rooms above the cold room are full of bodies.

They added that the bodies of unidentified people are kept in the hospital for a month and once the said time duration passes, they are sent to the laboratory.

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