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UK to open 'obese morgue' with slabs that can hold 50st

A new morgue which has been designed to cater for our ever expanding waistlines has opened in Britain. Based in Gloucester, England, the facility &ndas...

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|Jan 6|magazine8 min read

A new morgue which has been designed to cater for our ever expanding waistlines has opened in Britain.

Based in Gloucester, England, the facility – which consists of a corner’s court and a mortuary – has been developed with features that will enable it to hold obese bodies.

Extra wide refrigeration chambers are just one of the elements of the new morgue, which also boasts two trolleys that can hold a weight of up to 35st and one that can bear 50st.

With a price tag of £4.6 million, the morgue has the capacity to hold 62 corpses and it is due to be formally opened in April 2012, although the court is already operational.  

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According to Scott Riddell, the manager of the new facility, it was developed as a response to the rapidly worsening obesity crisis in Britain.

“The dimensions have got bigger because people are getting bigger and we’ve had to think about that,” he said.

Citing a particular example he added: “In New York one man who died was 62st.”

As well as catering for overweight bodies, the new morgue will replace outdated facilities, as Riddell explains: “These facilities are as modern as you can get, it was like we were in the dark ages before.”

It will also provide the county of Gloucestershire with a central coroner’s court.

Until now cases have been split between two different locations on an ad-hoc basis and it is estimated the new building will generate annual savings of approximately £350,000.

Commenting on the opening, a cabinet member for communities at Gloucestershire County Council, Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, said: “The problem that we had is that people are getting bigger than they used to be and we didn't have facilities for larger bodies.

“We have gone to the highest specifications with our centre. Some of our fridges have much larger dimensions.

“They are deeper in the fridge so your obese person can be put in there without it being a problem. There is also plenty of room for other fridges,” he added.

“The undertaker can put them in on one side and they can be taken out easily on the other for the post mortem.

“It is a state of the art facility and one of the most modern in Britain. It is a morbid thing to open but it is very much needed,” he finished.

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