A nurse was left horrified when she discovered a room filled with human remains, after spotting fluid leaking from under a door. The disturbing discovery was made by a worker in a health agency building in Melbourne, Australia.
The nurse educator first noticed the mysterious liquid seeping from the room on February 14.
It was coming from an abandoned room in the hallway at Eastern Health’s administrative building, Melbourne’s Coroner’s Court heard today.
When she opened the room, she found the bone and tissue fragments of unknown people being stored in containers and bins.
There was also a small fridge, which appeared to be the source of the leak.
The nurse also found a table with a towel, a tray with metal implements, what appeared to be tissue fragments and fine white or yellowish powder, reports Melbourne news outlet The Age.
She quickly reported the grisly scene to infection prevention and control officers at Monash Medical School.
Two days later, when an ear nose and throat surgeon accessed the room, they identified the items in the fridge as human skull bones, preserved in common preservative formaldehyde.
The remains appeared to come from multiple people.
The disturbing scene, described as a “bone room”, was found just one level below Eastern Health’s executive offices.
The room was reported to the Coroners Court on February 27, which then reported the incident to the police. The remains were photographed and sent for forensic testing.
Coroner Laura Bedggood said that possible explanations offered by Eastern Health still do not explain why the remains were in the room.
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The medical agency suggested that the remains were kept to be studied by medical trainees – but could not provide records to prove the room was used for studying or teaching anatomy, nor any records about the origin of the remains.
Eastern Health also claimed it had bought the remains from the University of Melbourne in 2014, but the university reported having no record of this.
Coroner Paul Lawrie is investigating whether the remains can be classified as a reportable death or deaths, adding that forensics had not been able to identify the bodies.
Eastern Health has brought in an external investigator to examine the incident and recommend changes to framework, processes and policies.
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