Here’s a screenplay waiting to be written
A city council said Saturday it was considering using underground burial chambers, currently a tourist attraction, to store the corpses of swine flu victims if the pandemic worsens.
Exeter City Council said the empty 19th-century catacombs could become an emergency mortuary.
A council spokesman said the plan could be put into operation if the cemeteries and the crematorium could not keep up with funeral demands.
He said: “We have some empty catacombs in an old cemetery in the city. These are 19th century underground burial chambers which are normally a tourist attraction,” he said.
“They can, however, be safely used for their original purpose and allow us to temporarily store bodies in the remote possibility that the need should arise.”
Figures out Friday showed that 72 people were in hospital with swine flu in the Devon and Cornwall area surrounding Exeter, while 2,000 visited their doctors for treatment.
At least 30 people with swine flu have died in Britain, which has been hit harder than any other European territory by the A(H1N1) virus.
Officials said Thursday that there were around 100,000 new cases of swine flu in England last week as a new website and telephone service was launched to help people identify symptoms and receive drugs.