Warning: Disturbing video shows Brooklyn Hospital staff lifting bodies with forklift

Brooklyn Hospital forklift
A disturbing video shows Brooklyn Hospital staff loading dead bodies into a tractor-trailer using a forklift.
Courtesy of Corey Teague

As the death toll from the novel coronavirus continues to rise, hospitals have gone to frightening lengths to deal with the surge — including at Brooklyn Hospital Center in Fort Greene, where staff resorted to using a forklift to load dead bodies into an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer on March 29. 

Video captured from the ghastly scene shows hospital workers unloading the bodies into the trailer parked on Ashland Place between Myrtle and Dekalb avenues around 10:40 am, according to the man filming from his car.

“They’re putting the bodies in [an] 18-wheeler,” said the audibly distressed man. “My hand is shaking because it’s hard to look at this right here, what I’m seeing right now, it’s hard to believe this, but y’all this is for real.”

Novel Coronavirus COVID19

*VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED! NY man witnesses bodies being placed in an 18-wheeler today from a Brooklyn hospital

Posted by Corey L. Teague on Sunday, March 29, 2020

The tactic is becoming dishearteningly common around the city, as many hospitals have begun using trucks as makeshift morgues, a gambit unseen in New York since 9/11.  

The man behind the camera outside of the Fort Greene hospital pleaded with viewers to heed the warnings of health experts and take the ongoing pandemic more seriously.

“Please stay inside. This is for real, this is no joke, y’all, this is for real,” said the man. “Y’all not taking this serious, this may make you want to take it serious, ok?”

Brooklyn Hospital Center on March 17 unveiled a tent facility to pre-screen potentially infected patients to reduce the hospitalized population and ease the load on the healthcare system.

In response to the footage, the hospital’s communication office released a statement Tuesday saying the city’s Office of Emergency Management supplied a refrigerated truck parked on Ashland Place to serve as an ancillary morgue due to the sharp increase in deaths as a result of COVID-19. 

“This is needed to accommodate the tragic spike in deaths, placing a strain on the entire system of care — from hospitals to funeral homes. Grieving families cannot quickly make arrangements, and their loved ones who have passed are remaining in hospitals longer, thus the need for this accommodation,” the statement read. 

This story has been updated to include a statement from the Brooklyn Hospital Center.