WORK has begun on a temporary mortuary at Birmingham Airport with space for up to 12,000 bodies in a worst-case scenario amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The airport is next to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC), which has already been discussed as a possible location for a temporary field hospital.
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 co-ordination group, made up of police, councils and other agencies.
The West Midlands has emerged as a hotspot for people testing positive for coronavirus. Latest official data recording deaths of those who had contracted Covid-19 showed that 40 of the 115 people who died in the most recent period – 34 per cent – had come from the region.
The new site could ultimately take on all deaths across the region, including those unrelated to coronavirus – and regional mortuaries may close to staff the airport facility.