İrem UZUN -TDO- A temporary mortuary is being put in place at Birmingham airport with space for up to 12,000 bodies amid growing concern over the speed at which the virus is spreading in the West Midlands. The hangar facility will initially have space for 1,500 bodies, “but will expand to hold more”, according to the West Midlands and Warwickshire strategic coordination group, made up of police, councils and other agencies.
Bosses previously said discussions were under way, but West Midlands Police confirmed the project had started. An airport spokesperson said it was working to provide land and a hangar for the temporary morgue. The force said regional mortuaries may close as staff were transferred to the new facility, which could eventually accommodate all deaths across the West Midlands. This would include those unrelated to coronavirus, it said. The force said it would do everything possible to accommodate religious requirements and that it was "vital" to give people "the utmost dignity and respect" at all times. Senior coroner for Birmingham, Louise Hunt, said: "We understand that it is a very difficult time for everyone and we will do all that we can to make sure bereaved families understand what is happening to their loved ones and to release them for funeral as soon as we can."