50 Bodies Unclaimed In Trailer

Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands.

Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands.


A trailer believed to contain unidentified victims.


Tribune Staff Reporter


HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands said the government has released the remains of a few storm victims to their families, however there are about 50 unclaimed bodies in a refrigerated trailer in Abaco.

He added the government might use an independent third party to act as an intermediary so afraid undocumented migrants can identify the remains. Speaking outside Cabinet yesterday, Dr Sands said in Abaco four people have been identified and their remains released to their family members.

“In the trailer in Abaco, a significant number of bodies I believe probably about 50 (have not been claimed). DNA samples have been taken and the expected time from DNA sampling until comparison and conclusion can be as long as six to nine months,” he said. “That is the international standard or timeline unless you use rapid DNA techniques. There are still a number of remains in Abaco, four persons have been released to their families. All of the others remains (are) yet to be identified, yet to be released.”

He said officials would like to curtail the length of time the bodies are kept in the Abaco trailer.

“In Abaco…we’d like to limit the length of time. We have remains in New Providence that would have been here in refrigerated trailers for years. There is no absolute limit as to how long you can keep refrigerated remains. In this instance however at that facility to have a trailer sitting there for an indefinite time is not ideal and so what we would like to be able to do is to be very aggressive in terms of making it safe and easy for individuals to identify.”

He continued: “Bear in mind that some people may be afraid to come forward if their immigration status is not ideal. This problem is not unique to The Bahamas and so (a consideration is) to have an independent third party perhaps act as an intermediary so that the process of identification can take place.”

Dr Sands said not much progress has been made for the burial site for the unidentified remains of people killed by Hurricane Dorian.

“You would have heard that we had a discussion about burial in a dignified fashion. We will need to identify a site and identify a grid so that these bodies can be interred at the appropriate point and exhumed if their loved ones are able to identify them so the remains can be turned over to their families,” he said.

Yesterday evening, Dr Sands released more information on the deceased victims which noted as of December 1, 55 bodies/remains were recovered in Abaco while 47 bodies/remains had been examined.

There were 51 total remains in the trailer as of December 1, inclusive of an arm and a head, and eight bodies had not yet been examined. According to the release, six deaths in New Providence “related to Hurricane Dorian remain unchanged.”

The official death toll from Dorian is 70, however officials have said the number could be greater.

According to NEMA officials, there are ten confirmed deaths in Grand Bahama and 60 confirmed deaths in Abaco.

National Security Minister Marvin Dames said in October that police have reports of 282 people still missing, the majority of them from Abaco.


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why are we bearing the cost of keeping these 50 Haitian bodies refrigerated? And yes, they are all Haitian. You would think the Haitian government would at least have the decency to claim their own dead whether or not their identity is known.

It has now been over 3 months since Dorian. Put all of these Haitian bodies on the next boat that sails for northern Haiti with each body accompanied by an official Bahamian export document marked "For Return to Sender".

Any Haitian nationals illegally in the Bahamas who disagree with this course of action should also be put on the same boat.


jamaicaproud 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You are one sick person. So Haitian bodies don't have a right to be treated with dignity?

Now pray tell, how can the bodies be claimed when their kinsmen have been deported and also it has been ordered they can't return to the island?

The bad part is you guys are so convinced in your mind you are of sound mind. This while politicians pick your pockets and wear Terylene and Wool suits in the tropical climate.


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes I am sick.....sick and tired of your kind calling all of us 'true' Bahamian patriots sick simply because we are deeply concerned and dismayed about the ongoing invasion of the Bahamas by illegal Haitian aliens.


jamaicaproud 2 months, 2 weeks ago

We are talking about dead bodies here.

But since you want to talk about an invasion. A simple geography lesson which I know is taught in your schools is this.

By virtue of geography, the Bahamas finds itself in the way of Haitians going to Florida. Your government should allow them to float on right through and let it be the US problem. However, in this instance, we are talking about human dignity. There can be no negotiation about that.


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Okay - You want to talk about human dignity! Do you have any idea or appreciation of the number of 'true' Bahamians who have lost their own life or the life of a loved one simply because our public healthcare system has been literally crushed under the weight of thousands and thousands of Haitian nationals who have illegally entered the Bahamas and then proceeded to reproduce at a rabid rate? There is clear and compelling evidence that the Haitian invasion has brought about the failure of both our public healthcare system and our public education system. Today 'true' Bahamians live in fear of not being able to obtain a reliable supply of desperately needed medications for themselves or their loved ones, e.g. their young children and elderly parents. They also live in fear of dying simply because adequate vital acute care facilities no longer exist. You need to stop your incessant and very disingenuine worrying about the human dignity of everyone but 'true' Bahamians; after all, we 'true' Bahamians are very much entitled to some human dignity too!


jamaicaproud 2 months, 2 weeks ago

That is entirely another issue. People died in a storm, it can happen or could have been you.

Blame your politicians and yourself, who no longer wanted to be, "Hewers of wood, or drawers of water." It is a crisis of your own making.

However, now that there is a Prime Minister who "Knew not the Haitians", You are attempting to give them straw to make bricks.

Hopefully a Moses(whats Kreyol for Moses?) will rise up, the Atlantic and Caribbean may open up so that Minnis can let Papa Docs people go.


joeblow 2 months, 1 week ago

@ jamaicaproud… if Haitians were only trying to get to the US, we would not have such large numbers of them here, threatening our sovereignty! In truth, I would not expect you to understand!


jamaicaproud 2 months, 1 week ago

I understand fully well. However, when it comes to death, there needs to be decorum. One cannot always be a brute


geostorm 2 months, 2 weeks ago

@Well-mudda, your comments are inappropriate! Why don't you start commenting like the "true Bahamian" you are claiming to be! "True Bahamians have compassion for the poor and hopeless among us. And yes, before you start accusing me of not being a true Bahamian, I sure am!!

Those people suffered great tragedy and loss, will you show some kind of compassion? Yes, we all disagree with illegal immigration and they should NOT be here, but for goodness sake, they were here, they died a horrific death and should be given dignity in death!


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 1 week ago

Oh pleeezzzz....is that the best you can do? Address the issues, not me. Be rest assured I'm not the least bit flattered by all of your attention!


John 2 months, 2 weeks ago

According to one source who lived in The Mud, the Haitian communities were not as tight knit or as intimate as some people think. Persons lived there mostly for economic reasons. And many knew others only by face or first name. So the question was asked, ‘So how would you know if someone is missing or got killed in the hurricane?’ The response was, ‘Ainn no way to know for sure, unless their body is recovered.” But if we go back to Abaco and don’t see them, we have to assume hurricane take them.’ That conversation was in mid September.


bogart 2 months, 2 weeks ago

@mudda. Those are good intentions to send back those Haitians who perished in Bahamas back to Haiti.

The deceased would be by Haiti authorities to better communicate with all their relatives in the handfull of villages they commonly come from with hundreds of their families to identify and give them funreals, rather than the have few persons in Bahamas who for months now to identify deceased have not come forward.

Having those bodies sent back to Haiti is better opportunity for decent Christian or other Religeous rites closure of deceased, families grief than having deceased bodies interred and marooned on some location in Bahamas.


TheMadHatter 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This was one of the many trailers that were claimed not to even exist? LOL


TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

My much earlier posts about a parked trailer(s) of dead bodies were deemed not be credible by my blog comrades. The health minister has only ever mentioned the bodies in the morgue's freezer at PMH, why is that? Now the question is, how could the 50 have been included in governments official Hurricane Dorian known dead count if they were never acknowledged to exist, and were all members cabinet made aware about the 50 extra dead bodies? You can't make 50 suddenly discovered bodies up, you just, can't


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