COVID-19 NYC: Video shows inmates burying coffins
Disturbing new drone video shows a crew of inmates in protective gear burying coffins in a mass grave on Hart Island in New York - where the city says it may bury the mounting dead from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newly released footage shows more than a half-dozen white-clad prisoners lower wooden coffins into the ground, then stand by as a bulldozer and backhoe dump mounds of dirt on at least 20 of the boxes, which are lined up at the end of a long trench.
Burials are a common sight on the island, where the city has used inmates to inter the Big Apple's anonymous and unclaimed dead for 150 years.
But the number of coffins in the video in the midst of the coronavirus plague hanging over the city presents an eerie picture.
Officials at City Hall said this week that no coronavirus victims have been buried on Hart Island to date, whether unclaimed or otherwise.
However, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said the city may resort to using the infamous burial ground as the city's death toll surged past 3000 on Tuesday.
New York state reported 731 new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, its biggest jump since the start of the outbreak, dampening some of the cautious optimism officials have expressed about efforts to stop the spread of the virus. The state's death toll grew to 5489.
New York City correction officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Video shows inmates burying coffins