The NYPD was called to the neighborhood after a passerby complained about the smell outside the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home in the Flatlands neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Police found the home had rented four trucks which were holding about 50 corpses. Some bodies were also found lying on the facility’s floor, according to the New York Post, citing law enforcement sources.
No criminal charges were brought, according to an official speaking to the Associated Press, but the funeral home was cited for failing to control the odors.
People in protective gear could later be seen transferring bodies into a larger, refrigerated truck after the funeral home was able to obtain one.
Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, told the New York Daily News: “While this situation is under investigation, we should not have what we have right now, with trucks lining the streets filled with bodies.”
He added, “it was people who walked by who saw some leakage and detected an odor coming from a truck.”
John DiPietro, who owns a neighboring property, said he had seen the bodies being stored for several weeks.
“You don’t respect the dead that way,” he told the Post. “That could have been my father, my brother. You don’t do that to the dead.”
Funeral homes have been overwhelmed by the death toll in New York City.
In the city alone, there have been more than 165,000 positive coronavirus cases, with almost 13,000 deaths. Statewide, New York has seen 300,000 cases and 18,000 deaths.